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December 7, 2013

Be Your Best at an Interview

After you’ve aced the résumé and application process, the next step is typically an in-person interview. The interview is an opportunity to show a potential employer your personality and prove that you’d be the best person for the position.  Follow this advice to be better prepared and poised when you meet a potential employer:

1. Spend time researching the company you are interviewing with on various sites, including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and the Better Business Bureau.

2. Research the individual(s) with which you will be meeting. If you share any personal or professional experience, bring it up in the interview. Finding common ground is a great way to build a personal connection.

3. Prepare 3-5 open-ended (not a “yes” or “no” answer) questions. Some examples:

    • What will “MY” training program look like?
    • What software products will “I” be using?
    • What do you like most about working here?
    • What are some of the possible challenges “I” could face in this role?
    • What is the team dynamic?
    • What qualities are you looking for in your ideal candidate?

4. Dress professionally for every interview, no matter the role. Wearing a suit gives the best first impression, which is critical. If you don’t own a suit, men should wear dress slacks with a button-up shirt and tie; women should wear knee-length skirts or slacks with a conservative blouse. Men, wear socks that match the suit or pants (not white!) with polished shoes. Women, do not wear tight or low-cut tops and keep your makeup conservative.

5. Bring at least 2-3 copies of your résumé (more if you are interviewing with multiple people) with a professional binder that has a notepad and pen to takes notes, if needed. Also, write down the questions you have prepared to ask the interviewer(s) in case you get nervous and forget them!

6. Schedule permitting, it is always advisable to drive to the location at least a day before the interview to ensure you have the correct address. Also, allow extra travel time on the day-of in case of heavy traffic or an accident. This will leave you feeling less rushed and more relaxed the day of the interview.

7. KEEP YOUR CELL PHONE IN THE CAR! There is nothing more distracting (and rude) than a buzzing/ringing phone during an interview.

8. Make direct eye contact with the interviewer and greet him/her with a firm handshake. This shows confidence. A smile adds a friendly touch.

9. At the end of the interview, ask for a business card. Within 24 hours after the meeting, send each interviewer a personalized ‘Thank You’ note. This keeps you top-of-mind, shows excellent follow-up and continued interest and is a clear demonstration of your writing skills.

woman-man-interview-employmentImplementing this holistic approach will guarantee a less stressful, more confident interview experience. You also can be satisfied in knowing that you presented yourself in the best light.

Are there any interview tips or advice you would add? Leave your comments in the reply section below.

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