Let’s say your cover letter and resume are perfect, and that employers are calling you to set up a job interview. Now what? What are your next steps, and how do you make sure you get to the finish line and land one or potentially more job offers?
Here are 6 interviewing tips to make sure you put your best foot forward in an interview.
1. Research the Company. Before you walk into an interview, you should understand the employer, the requirements of the job, and the background of the person (or people) interviewing you. The more research you do, the more you’ll understand the employer, and the better you’ll be able to answer interview questions. Scour the organization’s website and other published materials, search engines, research tools, and ask questions about the company in your network of contacts.
2. Practice Common Interview Questions. A good way to remember your responses is to put them into a story form that you can share in the interview. No need to memorize responses (in fact, it’s best not to), but do develop talking points.
3. Dress for Success. Plan out a wardrobe that fits the organization and its culture, striving for the most professional appearance you can accomplish. Remember that it’s always better to be overdressed than nor, and to wear clothing that fits and is clean and pressed. Keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum. Try not to smoke or eat right before the interview and if possible, brush your teeth or use mouthwash.
4. Arrive on Time. There is no excuse ever for arriving late to an interview. Period.
5. Make Good First Impressions. Be polite and offer warm greetings to everyone you meet — from the parking attendant to the receptionist to the hiring manager. Employers often are curious how job applicants treat staff members, and your job offer could easily be derailed if you’re rude or arrogant to any of the staff. When it’s time for the interview, keep in mind that first impressions — the impression interviewers get in the first few seconds of meeting you — can make or break an interview.
6. Be Upbeat. Your goal should always be authenticity, responding truthfully to interview questions. Keep your responses short and to the point. And no matter how much an interviewer might bait you, never badmouth a previous employer, boss, or co-worker.
About the Author
Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group. Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.