You’ve applied for a position, been contacted and set up a time for an interview. You feel excited! You may think the hard work is behind you. The truth is that there are more steps that you can take to increase your chances of getting the position. You need to convince the hiring manager that you’re the best candidate. Interview preparation will help you do that. The following are some tips for getting ready for a job interview.
- Do your research: Learn about the business where you’re hoping to work. Pay attention to the mission statement, company culture, recent news and social media accounts. This will give you insight into the organization’s plans, goals and methods. If possible, find out the name of your interviewer and research him/her as well. If you have time, look into the company’s competitors to help determine what sets the organization apart.
- Be clear why you want the position: Prepare three to five selling points (what makes you the best candidate, how your experience prepares you for the position) and be prepared to explain why you want the job (what interests you about the position, what it offers you).
- Prepare your defence: Think of reasons that a company may not want to hire you (not enough experience, no matching skill set, overqualified, poor fit with company culture) and prepare to promote yourself (You should know . . . I may not have . . . but).
- Practice for interview questions: Research common questions for the job you’re interviewing for and prepare your answers. Practice with a friend or in front of a mirror. Prepare a few stories to relate that emphasize your strengths, skills, contributions and creativity. Record your answers and then play them back to see where you need to improve.
- Compose questions for the interviewer: Come to the interview with two or three intelligent questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company and your earnest intent. Pay attention during the interview so that you can come up with one or two more questions.
- Arrive prepared: Bring a copy of your resume, a notebook, pen, copies of letters of recommendation, licenses, transcripts and a portfolio of work samples (if applicable).
- Consider your appearance: Dress appropriately. Make eye contact. Speak clearly and have good posture. Turn off your cell phone and smile. Your appearance makes an impression.
- Pay attention to the first five minutes: Some research indicates that interviewers make their decision in the first five minutes of a meeting and use the rest of the interview to confirm their choice. Take advantage of the first five minutes by coming in with energy, enthusiasm and appreciation. Begin with a positive comment about the company.
- Be assertive: Be polite but not passive. It’s your responsibility to make sure the interviewer knows your key selling points and why you are the best fit for the position.
- Display confidence: Shake hands firmly. Maintain eye contact. Listen attentively. Give honest and direct answers to all questions. Confidence is attractive and impressive.
- Leave a good impression: End the interview by expressing your interest in getting the job and communicating your excitement about the position. Explain why you think you’re a good match.
- Send a thank you: One to two days after the interview, send a handwritten or emailed thank-you note customized to refer specifically to what you and the interviewer discussed (I was excited by . . . What you said about . . . I found it interesting . . .). Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration, and reiterate your interest in the position. Ask further questions. Restate your strengths and relevant experience. Ask when the employer plans to make a choice and indicate your intent to contact the company to learn their decision.
- Follow up: If you haven’t heard from the company after one week, call or send a follow-up email. Reconfirm your interest. Ask if there is any further information that they need from you. Keep the lines of communication open.
Though you’ve landed an interview, it’s not yet time to relax. Follow these tips to prepare for and ensure your interview is successful and to increase your chances of receiving an offer for the position.
Looking for a new position? Interested in some expert advice and assistance? Call our Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, collaborative agency here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.