I’ve been on the job hunt over the last several weeks. I have had a couple of bites from employers in the Carolinas as well as outside the state, but nothing to report yet. However, I have been on numerous interviews both by phone and face to face. Which brings me to this weeks topic, “the interview”:
The interview process can be nerve-racking to say the least. Interviewing is like dating, you get a few minutes to make an impression before opinions start to form about you. The way I have approached the interview process is to practice interviewing. It has been years since I’ve gone through this process and I needed to have someone help me practice. I received help from a couple of different people, my wife, father-in-law and my friend Matt Hames. Matt gave me what I consider the most important advice so far, “don’t be afraid to say a promotion or social media campaign wasn’t successful. Then follow-up and explain why the campaign wasn’t successful and what you would do differently.” This is good advice on being accountable. My wife and father-in-law gave me advice on what interviewers are looking for in terms of body language, appearance and tone of voice. They also said know the company before you interview with them. My wife has had several people interview with her company that had no idea what her company was all about. It made her feel like they didn’t even care about the position they were interviewing for.
Since I have received help with interviewing, I’d thought I would share some of the tactics I use before, during, and after the interview. These tactics work for me and hopefully if you are reading this, they can help you as well.
Research the prospective company
Nothing will turn off an interviewer more than you not knowing about their company. Try to find out as much information as possible on the company you are speaking with. Google them to see if there are any news articles about the company. Also, go to their website and see what they do and what their mission statement is. Another tactic to use is using social media to see what people are saying about the company.
Research: (if you can) the person interviewing you
LinkedIn is a great tool for this.
This may sound a little creepy but people put their profile on LinkedIn for a reason. If you know the person you will be speaking with, look them up on LinkedIn. This will give you an idea of their background and also let you know if you have anything in common with them. If you have something in common with the interviewer, it can help break the ice.
Be confident when you answer the phone. Make sure you are clear and up beat. This sets the stage for a more personable exchange.
Face to Face:
The first impression is key. Be confident and lead with a firm hand shake. Make sure you are energetic and have a positive tone when greeting the interviewer.
During this part of the interview, try to go over your history in a positive manner. Nothing bores an interviewer more than a monotone account of your past work life. When the interviewer asks questions regarding your work experience, try to interject examples of your own work experiences. Showing how you are able to work speaks volumes to the interviewer. This can lead to great follow-up questions from both sides.
A critical part of the interview is to be honest when answering questions. If you don’t know the answer it is better to own up to it then to make something up. The interviewer will probably see through this and ask a follow-up question to catch you. At this point the interview is over and you can kiss the position good-bye.
During the last part of your interview try to leave on a positive note. Ask questions about the company and the position. This shows you are interested and wanting to know more about the company. If you feel the interview is going well ask about next steps. This will give you an opening to follow-up with the interviewer later that day.
After the interview is over wait a couple of hours before sending a thank you email to the interviewer. Let them know that you appreciate the opportunity to talk with them and let them know if they have any questions to contact you. Also, let them know you are looking forward to the next phase of the interview process.
Hopefully these tips will help you out. If you have any suggestions about interviewing, please leave a comment. I am open to any ideas or suggestions. I have also included a link for DOs and DON’Ts at interviews.
If you want an example of DONTs during an interview check this video out:
- Interviewing Etiquette (ask.metafilter.com)
- Lessons on the Hunt (jobsearchingblog.com)
- (10) Tips for Acing a Phone Interview (chicagonow.com)
- LinkedIn Says Most Overused Buzzwords Are… (businesswire.com)
- FireFold (rbrianperry.com)
- 10 overused buzzwords you need to stop putting on your resume: LinkedIn (techvibes.com)
- How to Be Successful at a Virtual Interview (brighthub.com)
- Be prepared… (blogs.freshminds.co.uk)
- Preparing for Different Types of Interviews (timesunion.com)