ACING THE INTERVIEW HOW TO SCORE THAT NEW JOB
WHEN YOU'RE UP AGAINST SOME STIFF COMPETITION out on the job market, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle of things. In these tough times, it's difficult to land an interview, much less a new job, so it's important to be
on point throughout the process. So, what should interviewees do to stand out to potential employers?
WHERE INTERVIEWS COME FROM?
Here are the top sources that lead to interviews.
94% come through online sources
6% ORIGINATE IMPERSONALLY
37% come from referrals
26% come from company career sites
22% come from internal applications
5% originate from walk-ins
STEP 1 PREPARATION
You just got that call or email asking to come in for an interview. While this is exciting news, it's important to do your homework beforehand to ensure the interview runs smoothly.
It's important to look the part when going into an interview, so invest in a new suit or slacks and button-down shirt.
Be well-groomed. Men, get a fresh haircut; women, consider going to the salon.
Make sure your shoes are clean and look professional. Keep any fragrance, makeup, and jewelry minimal.
KNOW YOUR STUFF.
First things first, spend time researching the company beforehand. The best way to do this is to explore its website—understand its mission statement, product offerings, social media, and management team.
Search for recent news articles about the company.
Look into your interviewer's background on the company's website. You may find bio pages that will give insight into his or her activities at the company.
Practice your responses to difficult questions, so you won't be caught off guard.
LEARN IT,KNOW IT
Before you go in, be sure you completely understand the job description and the distinctions in job titles and functions.
STEP 2 » RIGHT BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
Always be sure to double-check that you have everything you need before entering the interview. This includes copies of your resume, a pen and paper and, of course, a professional attitude.
Be kind to everyone. From the moment you walk in the building, smile, be respectful, personable, and professional at all times. You want anyone you interact with to remember you in a positive way.
SHAKE ON IT.
Always shake hands when you meet the hiring manager or interviewer, and shake again when the interview is over. Make sure your handshake isn't too strong or too weak.
WHAT TO BRING
It may seem elementary, but bring two pens and a notebook
Don't leave home without extra copies of your resume, cover letter, and references.
DON'T BE LATE.
Arrive a few minutes early, and allow extra time for travel delays.
Turn off your cell phone, and completely avoid using it during the interview
This one is simple. Don't dart your eyes a 30m, as it comes across as moderate eye contact throughout the interview
THREE TOUGH QUESTIONS
'WHY SHOULD I HIRE YOU?"
Illustrate why you are the most qualified candidate. Do this by reviewing the job description and closely identifying to the skills listed. Then, cite experiences from your past that correlate to those skills and knowledge.
TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF?"
This is likely a warmup question, but don't go through your resume point-by-point. Keep your answer to a minute or two. Cover four topics: early years, education, work history, and recent career experience.
WHAT WOULD THE PERSON WHO LIKES YOU LEAST IN THE WORLD SAY ABOUT YOU?”
Note a part of your personality that might seem negative but is actually positive. An example could be impatience. While this could be bad in the workplace, you could spin it in a way that stresses timeliness and driving deadlines.
STEP 3 THE INTERVIEW
Today is the day. You're ready for whatever they throw at you, but remember to keep a few tips in mind.
WHAT TO AVOID
It's a small world, and you don't want to burn any bridges. Never badmouth a former supervisor, coworker, or organization in an interview.
TELL THE TRUTH.
Keep your answers truthful and succinct.
JUMPING THE GUN
Don't ask about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you've received an offer. Although you should be prepared to answer a question about salary requirement, try to delay discussing salary until there’s an
offer on the table.
When the interview winds down, prepare a few strong questions to ask the interviewer. This is the chance to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and broader field and to convey how your longterm goals relate to the job.
EXAMPLES OF GOOD QUESTIONS TO ASK:
- "How would you describe the company's culture and leadership philosophy?
- "As an employee, how can I exceed your expectations?"
- "How can I help your company meet your goals?"
- "What excites you about coming into work?"
THE NEXT STEPS
WHAT S NEXT
Before you leave, ask about the next steps and expected timeframe in the hiring process. If you don't hear back within that period of time, follow up. Always remember to be patient and polite.
BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING.
Sometimes, it's hard to gauge what will come next from your interviewer. Here are five weird, but real, interview questions asked last year.
"HOW MANY COWS ARE IN CANADA?" — asked at Google, to a local data quality evaluator candidate.
"HAVE YOU EVER STOLEN A PEN FROM WORK?" — asked at Jiffy Software, to an software architect candidate.
"WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SONG? PERFORM IT FOR US NOW." — asked at LivingSocial, to an Adventures C'ty managerial candidate.
"ON A SCALE FROM 1 TO 10. RATE ME AS AN INTERVIEWER." — asked at Kraft Foods, to a general laborer candidate.
"HOW WOULD YOU DIRECT SOMEONE ELSE ON HOW TO COOK AN OMELET?" — asked at PETCO. to an analyst candidate.
STEP 4 » FOLLOW UP
Following up an interview with a thank-you note can leave a lasting impression, so don't forget to send one. It could seal the deal.
REMEMBER TO DO YOUR RESEARCH, EXUDE PROFESSIONALISM, AND BE YOURSELF AT YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW. GOOD LUCK!