Without a doubt, the most important step in landing a job is the in-person interview. You’ve impressed the company on paper, but now it’s time to show them your personality and why you would be a perfect candidate for the position. As a recruiter in one of the greatest cities in the world, it’s my job to convey to candidates the importance of being prepared for the in-person interview, and help set them up for success. Here are 6 tips to help you crush your next job interview and land your spot on the team!
1. Research the Company and the People who are Interviewing You
The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be to answer interview questions. Make sure to browse the organization’s website and read up on any current events or announcements that are featured. You also conduct a google search highlighting company name and leadership to see what pops up. Another great avenue is to check out the company’s social media pages Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Companies are always impressed when candidates display their knowledge on the organization, so don’t be afraid to show what you know when you’re in front of them!
2. Practice Your Answers to Common Interview Questions
…but make sure you don’t sound too rehearsed once you’re conversing, as that can work against you. Spend time speaking aloud at your apartment or with a friend to develop comfort speaking about your professional life. It is important to speak to your prior experiences and pull relevant examples from your past that correlate with the functions and expectations of the position. The STAR Method is a great tactic to use when asked behavioral questions. It will ensure that you discuss the Situation, Task, Action, and Result of the situation you are describing, while also helping you to stay on track of the question at hand. Remember to be yourself and be confident!
3. Dress to Impress + Dress for Success
It’s always better to be overdressed for an interview, than to appear too casual. While dress-code norms are shifting and more casual dress is acceptable in many settings, wearing a more conservative style will help keep the focus on you and what you’re saying, rather than distracting an interviewer with what you’re wearing. Keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum, make sure your outfit is ironed, and don’t wear too much cologne or perfume. If you have longer hair, make sure it is neat and out of your face. Make sure to look polished, but try not to wear anything that will make you come across as uncomfortable ( i.e.: new shoes you haven’t broken in yet that could cause blisters!). If you’re wearing a dark color, don’t forget to run a lint roller across your sweater or coat so you look neat.
4. If you Arrive on Time, You are Late
You should arrive around 15 minutes before your scheduled interview to allow yourself to get settled, check in with the front desk and security, and fill out any necessary paperwork. The interview starts right when you walk through the door, so make sure you make a great first impression on everyone you meet – including the receptionist. Arriving early will also give you a chance to observe the office atmosphere, so be sure to put your cell phone away (and on silent) and be attentive.
5. Prepare Great Questions that Demonstrate Your Interest in the Company and Position
Of course, questions will come up during the interview, but it’s always important to have questions ready ahead of time questions that demonstrate your interest in the position and the company. When an interviewer takes time out of their busy day to meet you, and you don’t show interest in the opportunity by coming prepared with questions, that could be a red flag and indicate to them you’re not truly interested in the opportunity.
6. Send a “Thank You” Email to Everyone Who Interviewed You
Make sure to get a business card from everyone you meet with and send a personalized email to each one as soon as possible. Thank them for their time, bring up a topic of conversation during the interview that you enjoyed, and if you are interested in the role, TELL THEM! So often candidates fail to share their genuine interest, and given how competitive the job market is right now, usually the candidate that wins out in the end is the one who is able to express their desire to join the team and the value they’ll bring to the table in the role. Always remember: Interviews are a two-way street, so take advantage of the opportunity to learn and absorb as much as you can!
Happy interviewing — and good luck!