The first impression is a lasting impression. We’ve all heard this before, thus … when interviewing, this is one of the most important facts to bear in mind. Below I have outlined some practical planning tips to help you succeed in acing the interview.
Dress to Land the Job:
Research the company in advance of the interview by using glassdoor.com or on indeed.com to get a feel for the culture. This may help to guide your decision regarding whether a suit or khakis are appropriate attire. Details matter; take pride in your appearance. Iron out any wrinkles in your clothing, freshen your breath, cover any tattoos, avoid wearing perfume or cologne, carry a portfolio or briefcase in your left hand and leave the right hand free for handshaking. To avoid being rushed, get your attire ready the night before; this helps with organization and planning.
Keeping a spreadsheet of the companies you apply to, dates of application, titles of the positions, and corresponding salaries (if provided), will serve as an excellent reference tool. When called for an interview by one of your companies of interest, you can reference your spreadsheet, Google the position and company, and jot down some notes regarding the role. Additionally, a spreadsheet comes in handy for monitoring the time span from application to interview.
Read the Position Description:
Read the position description to highlight 3-4 job requirements mentioned; then review your resume to highlight and align 3-4 skills, relevant achievements, or qualifications to more effectively tailor your responses and present yourself as a good fit in the mind of the interviewer.
Review Your Resume Jobs and Details:
Remember, the resume is the document that we, as hiring managers, are referencing during the interview, so at any time we may ask a question about an achievement or an area that you have called out in your resume. In many instances, job seekers will share details and/or mention situations that are not outlined in the resume we are referencing during the interview. Know your resume and be prepared to effectively align problems solved, savings generated, and creative solutions implemented on the job you’re interviewing for.
Relax and Be Yourself: Interviewing can be a slightly nervous situation for most people, hiring managers understand this; therefore, just do your best to answer the questions succinctly, with stories that reflect your value and cement your candidacy in the mind of the interviewer. Avoid being long-winded with your responses. Reviewing the position description in advance of the interview and aligning it with key qualifications in your resume will help you to stay focused during the actual interview.
Following Up After the Interview:
As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to send a thank-you letter within 24 hours of the interview. This is an opportunity to further express your interest in the position. Even if it appears that you are not a good fit for the job, send a thank-you letter acknowledging the interviewer’s time and consideration. Knowing how powerful networking is, this thoughtful gesture could elevate you in the mind of the interviewer. And who knows? It may open a future door for you.
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