Too many of us believe that being invited to interview means we’ve finally made it. We’ll ace the meeting and will be offered the job. We can relax.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Winging an interview is as foolish as slapping together a resume and hoping for the best. Job search and job success have never worked that way. To win out over the competition – and there will be lots of it – takes a determined and professional approach.
Be Well Prepared Before the Interview
According to a US News & World Report article, there are four key areas to consider to make your interview great.
Know Who Will be at the Meeting
If you have no idea who you’ll be interviewing with, you’ll be at a loss on how to present yourself. Ask for the names of those attending, then Google them and look up their LinkedIn profiles. By reading their backgrounds and articles they’ve written, you’ll be able to determine what interests them, what they’re passionate about professionally. This is invaluable knowledge you can use to develop your presentation on how you can be an asset to the company.
Pick up cues as to what concerns your interviewers have about the job or you as the possible candidate to fill it. Be self-aware, know your strengths and limitations. Address any reservations they might have by explaining your strengths. Use incidents from your professional past to assure them how you dealt with certain situations and complications at work.
Show That You Want the Job
Never be casual or nonchalant. Convey your passion for the industry, position and what you can do for the company. Your skills may be top notch, your knowledge and abilities second to none. However, how you’ll fit in with the rest of the team is vital. If you’re a prima donna or a loose cannon, you won’t be considered for the position no matter how talented you may be.
Dress the Part
Be aware of what constitutes the company’s dress code. You can determine that by Googling the company and looking at their web pages or company events the staff participated in. If the concern is a start-up where everyone wears jeans, sweatshirts and sneakers, don’t show up in a Brooks Brothers suit. If you’re applying for a position in a conservative industry such as banking, finance, accounting or the like, a suit is your best bet. Again, check out the company and its employees on the Internet to learn as much about their corporate culture as you can. The more you look like one of them, the more likely it is they’ll think of you that way.
An interview should never be considered the final stop of your journey. It’s only the beginning. Do well in it, and you’ll be called in for the next round of interviews where more of your competition will be eliminated. The more you know before you set foot in the company offices, the better your chances will be of winning the job.
ResumeEdge has helped scores of job seekers with JobInterviewEdge, an interview coaching service. Our certified writers excel in 40+ industries. In addition to interview coaching, we specialize in resume writing, resume editing, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles.