THE SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW
There are many factors that contribute to a successful interview. The number one key element is preparation. Listed below are some specific tips on enhancing your interviewing experience.
Before the interview:
- Gather as much information regarding the position as possible
- Identify the individual(s) conducting the interview and review their information on LinkedIn or the Firm web site
- Research the organization through Internet web sites and recent articles
- Bring at least one resume for each interviewer plus two pens and a notepad in a professional business folder
- Choose your attire carefully and prepare in advance to have clean, wrinkle-free clothing. We suggest solid colors which are less distracting.
- Darker, conservative attire with polished shoes is expected in an interview
- Develop and rehearse a concise, three sentence answer to "Tell me about yourself."
- If job description is available, review duties and criteria as it relates to your experience, skill set and accomplishments to prepare answers in an effort to convey how you would be an asset
- Prepare answers regarding your qualifications, achievements, tenure, strengths, challenges, etc.
- Prepare 2-4 questions regarding the position, responsibilities, objectives, team, challenges, and the overall goals for the position.
- Use your recruiter to educate yourself, practice your delivery, and discuss challenges
- Keep your recruiter informed of any changes, i.e., salary, position, scheduled leave, other opportunities
- Plan ample time for the commute and security check-in, application, testing (if applicable) and one hour for each interviewer; bring photo ID for security
- Know your exact base salaries (and total compensation with OT and bonuses) of all past positions
- Know the exact dates of employment; verify with former employer when necessary
- Prepare a reference sheet with current contact information and inform your references they will be contacted
- Interviewers/clients are seeking flexible and accommodating personalities; avoid asking about salary/bonuses, benefits, promotions/growth, and work stations unless interviewer brings up these topics
During the interview:
- Arrive no more than 10-15 minutes early (not prior) and tardiness is not acceptable
- If you are running late, call your recruiter immediately to inform them and provide reason
- Do not chew gum, eat candy, or bring a drink
- Remember to turn off cell phones and any electronic devices before entering the office
- Never discuss the position you are interviewing for with anyone (especially at the interviewing firm/company) other than your interviewer(s); always assume confidentiality is required
- Do not bring friends or family members to the interview; your "ride" should wait outside the building
- Fill out the application and any paperwork in its entirety; do not write "see resume"
- Use a firm handshake and look directly into your interviewer's eyes
- Greet your interviewer with confidence using his/her name
- Demonstrate your focus with a calm, relaxed, demeanor and continued eye contact
- Listen carefully to the questions; respond with clear, succinct answers (no more than two or three sentences per answer)
- Use their vague questions as an opportunity to highlight your demonstrated strengths and contributions
- Ask specific questions to gain an understanding of the goals and responsibilities of the position
- Gain an understanding of the organization and environment through observations and prior research
- Do not look at a list of your questions if you can avoid it; you want to seem more natural and engaged
- If all of your prepared questions were answered throughout the interview, you can mention how thorough the interviewer was and that all of your questions have been addressed
- Close by expressing your confidence to succeed in the position as well as your continued interest to pursue the opportunity
- Immediately after the interview, provide your recruiter with feedback
- Prepare, proof, and send thank you notes via email and bcc your recruiter (ask recruiter to proofread the note prior if desired)
- If you were not given a business card, your recruiter can verify/provide spelling of interviewer(s) name, company, and address as well as email address
- Follow up through your recruiter; never call the client directly