We interview people everyday so we know a thing or two about how to prepare. If you study what we tell you, we guarantee that you will be able to put your best foot forward during the interview.
- Check out our 4 P’s to Cultural Fit™ and get clear on how you match up to the 4 P’s of the company for which you are interviewing. The number one failure of employees is that they are not a cultural fit.
- First impressions matter. If you are unsure of what to wear, dress in layers. You can remove a suit jacket if you find that you are overdressed. Bring extra resumes and take notes.
- Do your homework. Be prepared to:
- Give a 90-second elevator pitch of why you are a fit for the role as it relates to your experiences. Include three to five things. Don’t be afraid to bring your prep notes to the interview.
- Give specific answers. Clients want to see that you can do what they are asking. Specific examples paint a picture of how your skills, experiences and successes can be transferrable to what the company needs. Never answer a question with “no”. Relate a similar experience.
- Explain your career moves. Get clear on why you changed jobs and be ready to answer questions about it. Companies don’t wan to hire a job hopper. Be positive and don’t badmouth a former employer.
- Discuss salary requirements. Get clear on what is most important in your next position. State what is most important and that if those things match up, you will entertain a competitive offer. Be honest about salary and provide a range. Companies can request salary history so be truthful and realistic. You don’t want to be caught in a lie.
- List strengths and weaknesses. Write these down. Be comfortable speaking about them. Strengths should relate to the job description. The weakness you share should not be something that would disqualify you. Example: I find that I can be overly competitive and I struggle to turn work off when I need downtime.
- Closing the interview and expressing interest is important in bringing your interview full circle. Let the interviewer know you are very interested in the position. Keep all remaining questions positive. This isn’t the time to ask about benefits, vacation or salary. There are three questions that you must ask:
- How will you know if the person you hired in this role is successful?
- Is there anything in my background or in my experiences that would keep us from moving forward?
- What are next steps?
- Follow up with an email immediately. Ask for business cards or get email addresses. Today, we don’t need to wait for snail mail. Companies expect a thank you email no more than 24-hours after an interview. Thank the hiring manager or interviewer for their time and reiterate why you are a good fit for the role.
If you do these things, you should be prepared for your next interview. Now relax and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Good luck!