Finding the best approach to a job interview can be a rough tackle. Sometimes you don’t know the right way to respond to a question or if you should even ask the interviewer any questions. All common in this day and age, but as times have changed, so have the way interviews are conducted.
There are several ways interviews can be conducted; i.e face to face in office, over the phone, public meet up (in a restaurant or open area in the public), through email, or even video chat. The most popular approach to interviewing many employers invoke is the face to face method where you come to their facility sit in a quiet office and interview face to face with them. If you’re like me, interviewing makes me so nervous! But it is ok to go into an interview nervous. I like to tell the interviewer this up front; sometimes they will try a little exercise to make you feel a little more comfortable. Don’t worry, the nervousness tends to go away as time progresses and the questions begin rolling.
Phone interviews are always fun! With this method, some people are a little more comfortable since they don’t have to be in front of anyone to answer questions. A simple change in location really makes the difference, however, it isn’t often that employers will allow you to do phone interviews in lieu of face to face.
Now that we’ve gotten that out-of-the-way, lets explore the interview process a little further so you are better prepared for your BIG day…
Applying for the Job
As you know, there is an application process that must be completed before you will have the opportunity to interview with the employer. This process is simple and may be located on the employer’s website or even in paper version at their facility. Be sure to update your resume with your most current employer and job duties. If you do not have a resume, this is the perfect time to get started on one. We offer a great Resume Bundle Pack which is guaranteed to improve your chances as a prospect.
Towards the end of your application, employers tend to ask for references so they can ask even more questions about you. It is ideal to have at least three references. Now, these references should not be relatives or friends unless you work directly with or for them. Try to use professional references, i.e. co-workers, teachers, supervisors, etc.
Along with having great references, it is important to have a professional email address and an accurate phone number with a basic voicemail greeting. No music!! You want this employer to take you seriously and to look at you as a potential employee, don’t give them any reason not to choose you before you are asked to interview with them.
If you haven’t already, research the company’s history. Your potential employer will most likely ask if you know anything about the company. Do a quick Google search on the company and become familiar with them. Jot down a few key points that stands out the most about the company and save this for your interview. This shows that you have an interest in the company other than just wanting a job with them.
Always show up to an interview in professional attire. You must look the part!! Show up as if you already have the job, but don’t over do it. All in all, your attire really depends on the type of job you are interviewing for. If you are interviewing for an office job, you should show up in professional business casual wear. No open toe shoes, see-through shirts, mini skirts, strapless shirts, skin-tight pants, leggings, etc. But if you are interviewing for a more artsy job, for example, a freelance photographer or even an artist, you are more likely to show up to your interview in casual attire. In most cases, the employer will let you know what the attire is, but if they don’t, take the business causal approach!
Your hygiene should be most important, especially on this day. Be sure to take a shower and clean your nails! Wear little to no perfume or cologne and have subtle makeup. Get a good nights rest before your interview so that your face appears fresh and you do not interrupt the interview by yawning. Neat hair is a must! If you are a woman, it is imperative to have a neat and clean hairstyle. Avoid loud colors and BIG/flashy hairstyles. If you are a male, be sure to arrive clean-shaven or a fresh edge up. Lastly, do not wear too much jewelry during your interview. One small ring and maybe one small necklace will suffice. Nothing too flashy or big enough to draw the interviewer’s focus on your loud jewelry and not to your skills.
Scope out the Location
I like to get the address of the interview location and drive there the day before, just so that I know exactly where I am going. Granted, traffic may be different during the actual interview time, but I don’t want to scramble and become lost the day of the interview. Try to arrive at least 30 minutes prior so you can review your talking points, look over any documents the company has provided for you, and to take a quick breather to meditate or clear your mind before you enter into those doors.
During your interview or likely after your interview has ended, it is important to ask questions. This lets the employer know that you are very interested in the position and it also gives you the opportunity to know a little more about what you are getting yourself into.
Here are some examples of good questions to ask after your interview:
- What are the top 3 qualities you are looking for in the person you plan to hire?
- How will I know that I have met your goals in this position?
- How long is the training?
- How would you describe a typical day in this position?
- What is the most challenging part of this job?
- What do you like most about working here?
- What is the key to success in this position?
- What are the working hours?
- What are the future plans for this position?
- If anyone has failed at this job, why did they fail and how did they overcome?
In almost all interviews I’ve been in, the employer would ask me to explain one negative thing about myself. This is where you turn the tables on them. The answer should always be a positive negative answer! Sounds complicated I know, but trust me it isn’t. For example, one positive negative about me is that I am very detail oriented and sometimes I tend to take a little bit more time on a task because I look over everything multiple times before I turn it in. I want to make sure that everything is correct so that I don’t have to redo the work.
The positive in this situation is that I am very detail oriented and employers like that, while the negative is the fact that I spend a little more time on one task to make sure it is correct. Spending a lot of time on one thing can prevent you from completing other tasks, but I would express to the employer that it is one of my career goals to improve the quality and quantity of my work. Setting career goals shows the employer that you are focusing on the future with their company which also indicates longevity.
Know your Worth
If you know you have the experience, education, the drive, etc, then you must know your worth! How much would you pay yourself for doing the duties you are applying for? Would you pay yourself more or less than the asking salary/hourly wage? Don’t sell yourself short! Most salaries are negotiable, so negotiate! Your salary should coincide with your actual experience and education in that position.
When everything is said and done, always follow-up with the person you interviewed with. Sometimes many employers are extremely busy and have interviewed several different applicants in that week; it is up to you to follow-up with them regarding your status. If you do not hear back from the employer within a week, call or email them.
Now, I have already put these tips to the test and guess what? I aced the interview! Are you ready to take the leap of faith and put these tips to your test?