Don't be nervous for that big job interview, be prepared. From doing your research beforehand to preparing for post-interview follow-up, follow these basic interview tips for interviewing success.
The number one hurdle where candidates fail is knowing the company and industry for which they are interviewing. Research the company and its competitors. Check recent news alerts. Try to understand not just where the company is currently, but where it is going and what are its strengths and weaknesses. Also, read reviews on the company and get an idea for company culture and interview tips.
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but first impressions make a huge difference and contribute to your strengths. Always dress appropriately for a job interview and arrive early. Regardless of gender, it's hard to go wrong with a suit. Wear something blue to give you an edge; it's the hue that subconsciously brings up thoughts of trust and confidence.
An interview is selling yourself and proving to the interviewer that you are, indeed, the best candidate. Practice your main talking points. Know your resume inside and out as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Prepare the story of your career to this point, where you have succeeded and failed and what you have learned from experience.
A phone interview should not be seen as a significant hurdle, but instead as an opportunity to prepare more for the real thing. One of the most important phone interview tips is to just remain flexible and prepared. Phone interviews often come with little to no warning, but that is OK. Always carry a binder with all your notes and talking points to reference. That way you always seem prepared. Also, remember to ask a lot of questions about the company, team, their challenges and interview processes. Note these and bring them up as questions in the in-person interview.
Practice makes perfect. This is the most time consuming but most rewarding of our interview tips. Before heading to an interview, try your set-up with friends, family or mentors. College career centers and former professors also are a great tools to use. Finally, the best mock interviews are real interviews. Never turn down a chance to interview even if you don't feel like it is a great fit. You might change your mind, or you will at least get the experience and make interviewing one of your personal strengths.
Remember back in grade school, you learned the importance of giving arguments in a thesis. This applies very well in an interview. Often times, a candidate controls the conversation at the beginning and end of an interview. To start, know how you are going to spin small talk into why you are excited about the company, your strengths and what you can offer. And as the interview concludes, rehash this thesis adding elements that you have learned from the interview process.
So you made it to your big interview. You are well prepared, read our interview tips and laid out your thesis. But you're still not quite sure which series of words will impress your interviewer enough to offer you the position. The bulk of the interview is spent by the interviewer testing the thesis that you started with. Relax and listen. Let the interviewer tell you what they are looking for. Often they will question specific skill sets to your experience. Make sure to hammer these home even later in the interview. Make notes of these points and finish with your summary and conclusion.
For the final of our interview tips, remember that taking the time to say thank you is not only good etiquette, but reminds the interviewer of your strengths and desires. If possible, write a letter or card on nice stationary and overnight it to their office. If not, a formally written email is second best. But do remember to spell check among your peers.
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