A good resume and cover letter can get you noticed and invited for an interview. However, once you arrive you have less than an hour to set yourself apart from all the other qualified candidates. There are several things you can do to make the interview as successful as possible, and we have come up with the top five to help you prepare for and impress any potential employer.
Interviewers will often ask questions that you can answer quickly. While you should keep your answers concise and on point, sharing examples to back up your answers gives you an edge over candidates who provide general answers. Other tips worth considering to help you ace your job interview include:
- Research the business. Regardless of whether you are applying for an executive or entry-level position, always research the company to determine how the employer compares to other major players in the industry.
- Collect contact information. As you meet each person in the interview, obtain their business card. Be ready to write down the information in case they do not have a business card in their pocket. You will need this information to send a customized thank you note.
- Prepare questions. When you accept the interview, ask for the names and titles of the people you will meet. This will allow you to come up with position-specific questions for individual people. Try to save a question for the end, and write down any that come up as you are in the interview.
- What to bring. Make sure to bring a few extra copies of your resume and something on which to take notes. Some employers like to see your diploma, so make sure you have this prepared.
- Dress for success. Even if you are interviewing for a casual company, lack of professional attire is bad form. You will lose nothing by looking competent and put together.
People hire to fulfill their needs, so always use a conversational tone instead of just responding to questions. This helps build rapport and will position yourself as the problem solver they need.
Most managers look for personality and passion, not a skill set. There are times when you do not have to be the most qualified person to get a job. You just have to be the person the interviewer likes best. Paying attention to these five tips will make sure you leave a favorable impression with the employer and hopefully land you the job.