Employers are continually amazed at the lack of an applicant's preparation regarding the company and the position for which they are interviewing. Remember that a successful interview begins with preparation and practice. Gain the competitive edge in the first interview, so that you can increase the probability of getting the job that you want!
Never 'wing it' or 'fly by the seat of your pants' in an interview, regardless of the level of position you are interviewing for. Candidates who interview without researching the company put themselves at an unnecessary disadvantage. Learning about a company is very easy due to the internet. Knowledge of the company conveys interest and enthusiasm to potential employers.
It is important to plan the image you wish to present to your employer.
The first impression is a lasting impression. Dress in a professional, conservative manner. Interviewers should err on the side of formality. Jeans and sneakers are a don't for almost all jobs. Interviewers want to know that a candidate takes the interview and the job seriously.
It is never appropriate to be late. Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early for the interview. Remember to turn off cell phones, pagers, etc. If presented with an application, fill it out completely and neatly - never indicate "see resume". While waiting, review your resume.
When greeted by the interviewer, use a good firm handshake. A firm grip, with a brief yet brisk handshake while looking directly at the interviewer provides a powerful, lasting impression. Remember, no chewing gum, smoking, etc.
Maintain good posture. Leaning slightly forward when seated, indicates interest. Maintain eye contact. Smile. What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say. Studies have shown that 65% of the conveyed message is nonverbal: gestures, physical appearance and attire are highly influential during job interviews.
It is your responsibility to establish an immediate level of rapport so that you may communicate comfortably. Your goal is to get the interviewer to identify with you. Remember, people like people who are like themselves.
Have the interviewer talking 60-70% of the time. Keep your answers brief and concise. Unless asked to give more detail, limit your answers to two to three minutes per question. Try to maintain a conversational flow - a dialogue instead of a monologue. Respond to each question thoughtfully, truthfully, concisely and completely.
The types of questions you ask and the way you ask them can make a tremendous impression on the interviewer. Good questions require advance preparation. Just as you plan how you would answer an interviewer's questions, write out specific questions you want to ask. Then look for an opportunity to ask them during the interview.
The employer has a scheduled amount of time set for an interview. When he/she moves to close the interview there are two questions uppermost in the interviewers mind:
Make sure the employer realizes that your interest is based on a positive opportunity that they have and not a reaction to a negative situation in which you may be currently involved with (layoff, plant closing, etc.). Repeat your key strengths again. It is essential that you confidently articulate your strengths and explain how they relate to the company's or department's goals.
The Cardinal Rule is: Respectfully thank the interviewer for his/her time; let him/her know you have enjoyed learning more about the company and position; and finally, that you will look forward to hearing from the interviewer regarding the next step in the interview process.
Always leave a positive impression even if you don't want this particular position.
Immediately after the interview, contact your Midland Recruiter to discuss the interview and strategy. Your recruiter is invaluable in assisting you in gaining that offer of employment and the sooner the recruiter hears back from you, the sooner he/she can follow up with the Hiring Manager.
In today's tight job market, it is crucial to send a Thank You follow-up letter to each individual that you interviewed with. When an interview is ending, ask for a business card so you have the email address and correct spelling of the interviewers name. CLICK HERE to see sample of post-interview letters.