Although interviewing can be a great opportunity for job seekers, it can often make candidates feel uncomfortable. Why is that? We’re not sure, but we wholeheartedly believe that in order to succeed in anything, you must stay positive. Forget about what you learned about interviewing and focus on what you do best…being yourself.
Today, we’re providing valuable tips that can enable you to ace any job interview. Remember: interviewing is a sales process that you need to learn and then implement. If you follow these tips, you will receive more job offers. You will also learn how to overcome objections, explain possible red flags on your resume and ask questions that will impress the interviewer. The more you practice these techniques, the more you will master your interviewing abilities. This process is critical to your career.
- Tip 1. Research the Company: We’ve said this many times, but so often job seekers don’t research enough. There is a wealth of information online such as website, social media networks etc… You should review their entire website, especially any recent news releases or articles published about them. You may also want to identify their SIC (Security Industry Code) and research information on their main competitors. Find out if they have any reviews online. Making this a part of your interview preparation process will help you feel more comfortable and more in control when the time comes.
- Tip 2. Research The Opportunity: It is critical that you know the requirements of every job you target. You want to tie in your experience and skills to the specific requirements of your prospective employer. You must understand the requirements of the job so you can prepare how you will present yourself in your interview. In a job interview you sell the skills, experience and attitude you bring to the table that coincides with their opportunity. Help the interviewer see you in the role.
- Tip 3. Research Who’s doing the Interviewing: Before your interview, ask for the names and titles of the people you’ll be interviewing with. Try to learn as much as you can about them by searching the company website, their news section, their LinkedIn profile and even searching online. Searching and collecting this information prior to the interview will provide you with better insight into your interviewers’ priorities, successes, and personalities.
- TIP 4. Arrive Prepared: Take a copy of the cover letter and also multiple copies of your resume that you submitted for the job application. Sometimes interviewers may test you with requesting a copy of your resume to see if you’re prepared. Take this small task out of the equation so that you’re ready to discuss your skills without delay. In addition you will want to bring the following:
List of references (3 past supervisors, 1 personal). The list should include their work and home phone numbers, cell phone if available and email address.
o Reference letters (if you have them)
o Performance reviews (if they are stellar)
o Grade transcript (if you are a recent student)
o Writing sample (if written communication skills are a requirement of the position)
o Portfolio (if the position is “creative”)
- TIP 5. Dress Appropriately: Employers assume that the best they will ever see you dressed is during your interview. If you are interviewing for a local position, you should drive to the company and watch the employees as they leave. You want to dress better than the employees.
Even if they tell you to dress casual, it is best not to arrive in jeans. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression. When you take the time to dress appropriately, it sends a message to the employer that you care enough to present yourself professionally.
Here’s an example of “inappropriate attire” that have screened qualified candidates out:
Women Need to Avoid
Wrinkled Clothing, blouses that are too small and expose a bra, clothes with spots, stiletto high heels, sandals, boots, runs in nylons, big jewelry, big hair, makeup not appropriate for daytime, too much perfume, sexy attire, clothing that – too tight or too short, blouses unbuttoned too low, exposed tattoos, unusual piercing or anything that draws attention to what you are “wearing” and not what you are “saying.”
Men Need to Avoid
Wrinkled clothing, clothes with spots, clothes that are too tight, boots, or Sandals vs. shoes, socks that don’t match, facial hair that is not groomed, shirts unbuttoned too low, too much aftershave or cologne, exposed tattoos, unusual piercings and clothes that are too casual for an interview. You are trying to impress the interviewer, and taking the time to dress professionally sends a positive message to the decision maker.
Interviewing is an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about an employer and for them to learn more about you. Even the top talent in the marketplace can get nervous but you can bet their using tips like we’ve provided to make a lasting great impression. Take that nervous energy and focusing on being positive, being prepared and let your awesome self shine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Ingrid Moore
Ingrid Moore is the Founder and CEO of Corporate Resources of Illinois, an employment & staffing agency withover 20+years’ experience located in Schaumburg, IL. Ingrid and her team assist employers with finding the right hire for their business. For more info, follow us on our LinkedIn Company Page, or follow us Corporate Resources of Illinois‘s Google+ page.