The Art of the Interview

By |  November 9, 2015 0 Comments

What’s something we all have in common? No. Not that we’re humans.

When applying for jobs, more often than not, all of us will need to go through the interview process to determine if we’re the best fit for a position. With so many people applying for the same jobs, finding a way to stand out is not only important, but necessary. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Before the Interview
    • Do your research: Look beyond a company’s home page and find out a little more about them. Not only is it important to show a potential employer that you are interested in their company and its goals and values; It’s important for you to learn about the company so that you know if it’s the right fit for you.
    • Prepare: Make sure you’ve thought about questions the interviewer may ask. It doesn’t look good if you’re asked a typical question, such as “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and you have to scramble to put together an answer.
  • On the day of the interview
    • Be early, but not too early: According to U.S. News, you should arrive to the interview five minutes early. If you’re earlier, you may be in the way or force the interviewer to rearrange their schedule to start your interview early. If you’re later, not only will your punctuality be called into question, but also this is another way to jumble up a potential employer’s schedule.
    • Dress to impress: This should go without saying, but no matter how casual a company may seem, it’s always appropriate to show up to an interview wearing business professional clothes. Please don’t show up in sweat pants if you’re looking to make a good first impression.
    • Be kind: Show kindness and friendliness to everyone in the office, including peers in a group interview. If you are rude to a secretary or potential co-worker, it will be noticed and will hurt your chances.
  • During the interview
    • First impressions count: When you are greeted by the interviewer, it’s a good idea to have an interesting response to “How are you?” According to Scott Ginsberg from TheLadders.com, having a unique response is a great way to make you stand out from the crowd. He suggests avoiding answers like, “fine,” “good,” or even “great.” He prefers answers such as “awesome” or “perfect.” These responses are more positive. They’re also less common.
    • Be engaging: Don’t simply answer the interviewer’s questions as quickly as possible. Robin Reshwan of US News said, “The ability to have fluid conversation conveys preparation, intelligence, people skills, active listening and a commitment to your career.” Don’t just read your resume to the interviewer. Expand on it. Add detail.
    • Don’t diss your old boss: A big mistake many people make is to trash their old boss. If it’s absolutely necessary to mention something negative, such as being laid off, do your best to put a positive spin on it, or your overall experience. Otherwise, your potential new employer will see your bitterness, and it could hurt your chances, according to Caroline Banton of The Huffington Post.
    • Remember to interview the interviewer: As mentioned above, you don’t want the interview to be a one-sided exchange. It’s important to ask questions of your interviewer. Make sure to ask questions in a way that shows you have prepared and are interested. Do not ask about vacation time or how many hours per week you’ll be expected to work. This may lead the interviewer to think you are less interested in the job and more interested in the time off.
  • After the interview
    • Thank the interviewer: Make sure to send a personalized email or note to the interviewer within 24 hours. This goes a long way to showing your appreciation, as well as keeping the door open for future communication.

With these tips in mind, and your resume in hand, you can ace any interview.

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