Posts

4 Easy Steps to Preparing for Your Interview

4 Easy Steps to Preparing for Your Interview

Congratulations! All of your hard work has paid off—you got the call for the interview! Now you need to prepare for a successful interview with the person or team who makes the hiring decisions. There are several steps that you can take to maximize the value of this meeting for you and for your future manager and to make your interview go smoothly. Follow these 4 steps to preparing for your interview to put yourself on track.

Go to your interview proud and prepared for success with these 4 tips.

Go to your interview proud and prepared for success with these 4 tips.

4 Easy Steps to Preparing for Your Interview

1. Research the company prior to going to your interview—Your research on the company is the foundation for your questions for the interviewer about the needs and experiences of the company. Learn what the company’s values, missions, and goals are, and be prepared to ask interesting questions about the company’s position in the marketplace. Good sources of company information, beyond the company’s own web site, include Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, regional business journals, and publications by industry associations.

2. Put yourself in control by being prepared and showing your positive attitude. Your insightful self-knowledge about your experiences and expertise will help to open career doors for you during your job search. Study your own resume, and practice your answers in front of a mirror or camera, so that you can retell key points of your career history that are relevant to the position you’re seeking. Practice answering the hard questions: “Why were you terminated” and “Tell me about yourself” are perhaps the two most difficult, but these can be interview killers if you do not prepare ahead of time with answers that succinctly address the question and focus on the future.

3. Clean up your social media—Many companies will search your social media prior to hiring to look for red flags. Items that can cause you to lose that spot in the hiring lineup. Apps such as Social Sweepster can help eliminate posts to your social media that may cause concern to potential hiring managers.

4. Look the part—You need to be perceived as a member of the team and as someone who can fit in with the company’s culture. Whether the environment is business casual or office professional, you need to know how to present yourself. This having been said, you will not go wrong by dressing “up,” even for a casual environment; you can always hang your jacket on the back of your chair if everyone else is in t-shirts, but you will not ever be able to dress up a golf shirt if everyone else is in suits and ties.

Say “Thank You” for Your Interview

Say “Thank You” for Your Interview

Congratulations—you got the interview, and you nailed it. Don’t forget to thank your interviewing committee within 24 hours.

You know you’re the right person for the job and you think you gave all the right answers during your interview. You’re pretty sure they’re going to call you back with the job offer.

You think you’re done with the interview process, but you’re wrong.

You forgot to send each member of the hiring committee a post-interview thank you letter. Your professional resume writing service can help you say “thank you” for your interview–and change the hiring manager’s mind.

Witness these recent statistics. Robert Half reports that only 5% of job seekers send thank you letters after their interviews. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) adds to this—their study said 88% of hiring managers report that thank you letters influence their hiring decision.*

So does this mean that 5% of the job seeking population has a leg up on the majority of interviewers who simply aren’t playing by the rules? When you acknowledge an interview with a post-interview thank you letter, you have a huge opportunity to accomplish three  tasks.

  1. You thank the committee, individually, for their time. Until you are hired, you’re simply a liability in terms of the amount of time and effort that it takes to get you on board.
  2. You respond to the interview process, emphasizing how you can solve the hiring committee’s pain beginning on your first day at work.
  3. You tell the hiring executive that you want the job. Remember, we don’t get what we don’t ask for, so make sure that you are 100% clear about your enthusiasm for the role.

If you are not accomplishing these three goals in your post-interview thank you letter, you’re failing to participate in a critical aspect of the interview process. In fact, you might have lost the chance to reiterate your interest in the position or to add to the data you provided in your interview. Make sure you send an individualized, well-conceived, thoughtful thank you letter to every member of your interviewing committee–it’s an investment in time and effort that you will not regret.

*Data used with many thanks to Susan Guarneri and her amazing presentation at Career Directors International 2010.

Updated July 2018.