Have you just landed an interview for a job? Congratulations to you for taking the next step and initiative to grow your career. It’s easier to remain complacent or resist change, but drive, grit and the ability to collaborate well with others are the fundamental tools that will advance your career. The prospect of an interview can be a time for both excitement and anxiety. Follow these strategies and recommendations from the professional human resources executives and you’ll be sure to succeed at the interview.
An interview is a two way street. The hiring manager has already determined that your experience and qualifications meet the requirements for the position or you most likely would not have been granted an interview. That’s a hurdle that you’ve already passes. The interview is also an opportunity for you to determine if the position and company culture are conducive to your career goals and personality. Enter into the process with this mindset and not only will it serve to calm your nerves, but you may well feel more empowered to truly decide if the position and company are a potential long term match.
Begin your interview preparation process by conducting thorough research on the company and hiring manager. Start by spending ample time reading all the pages of the company’s website to learn as much as possible about their products and services. What is the company’s reputation in their industry? Will you be proud to represent this company? Read the online reviews posted by current and former employees as well as those reviews posted by customers. Throughout your research process, no doubt you will develop questions for the hiring manager. List these questions and be prepared to ask them during the interview process. Browse through your professional network to uncover any connections you may have with the hiring manager or other employees at the company. Use your discretion when contacting them and always remain positive and professional.
You will only have one opportunity to make a first impression during the interview. The absolute most important things to wear are a genuine smile and quiet self-confidence. Having studied the website and your professional connections, you most likely have a sense of the culture at the hiring company. Regardless of how casual you may perceive the company to be, always select a polished, understated and professional ensemble to wear. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and invest in a well-tailored suit from the huge selection available through Charles Tyrwhitt. Leave the loud colors and bling for the weekend. Excessive jewelry is distracting and unnecessary. Tone down your hairstyle if you’ve experimented with bold cuts or colors. Make an appointment with your stylist for a trim. Shine your shoes and polish your briefcase. First impressions are critical.
Finally, the power of a firm handshake and eye contact cannot be overstated. Listen, answer questions to the best of your ability, be yourself and by all means be honest and ethical with your answers. Follow up with a hand written note reiterating your desire to join the company. Best of luck to you!