These top interview tips will help you cover everything you need to know to successfully ace a job interview. From checking out the company to sending an interview thank you note, these job interview tips cover all the basics needed for interviewing success.
How much do you know about the company that just contacted you to schedule an interview? It should be plenty, and all the information you need is available online. Here are tips on how to research a company, get the inside scoop on the company culture, and use connections that can help you get an interview advantage.
Check Out the Company
Visit the company web site; review the company mission statement and company history, products and services, management, as well as information about the company culture. The information is usually available in the About Us section of the site.
LinkedIn company profiles are a good way to find, at glance, more information on a company you're interested in. You'll be able see your connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics. Take a look at your interviewer's profile to get insight into their job and their background. Visit the company's page on LinkedIn to see who you know who works or used to work at the company. Those connections may be able to refer you to the hiring manager or give you a recommendation that will help your candidacy. The easiest way to find the company page is to search LinkedIn's Companies section by company name or keyword.
Use Your Contacts
Who you know at the company you are interviewing with really does matter. Here's how to use your contacts and connections to get an insider advantage so you can ace the interview and impress the interviewer.
Taking the time to review typical interview questions you will probably be asked during a job interview will help give you a framework for your responses and will help calm your frazzled nerves, because you won't be scrambling for an answer while you're in the interview hot seat. Practice interviewing with a friend or family member ahead of time and it will be much easier when you're actually in a job interview.
Job Interview Questions about You
Know the Facts
I've been surprised when applicants weren't able to tell me their dates of employment or what they actually did on a day-to-day basis at their job. Review your work history - and make sure what you say matches what's on your resume. Take the time to learn about the company and about the job you're applying for.
What You Don't Say
What you don't say can - and will - be used against you in a job interview. If you come to an interview chewing gum or drinking coffee, you will already have one strike against you. Too much perfume or not enough deodorant won't help either. Not being dressed appropriately or having scuffed shoes will give you a second strike. Talking or texting on your cell phone or listening to an iPod while waiting to be called for the interview may be your final strike and you could be done with your candidacy before you even say a word.
What You Do Say
Your verbal communications are important. Don't use slang. Speak clearly and definitely. If you need to think about a response to an interview question, that's fine. It's better to think before you talk than to stumble over your words. Practice answering some interview questions so you're comfortable responding the basics.
It can be easy to get distracted during a job interview. It's stressful and you're in the hot seat when it comes to having to respond to questions. That said, if you do your best to listen to what the interviewer is asking, it will be easier to frame appropriate responses.
Prepare for a Phone Interview
While you're actively job searching, it's important to be prepared for a phone interview on a moment's notice. You never know when a recruiter or a networking contact might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk. Review these tips for advice on how to pull off your phone interview without a hitch.
During the Phone Interview :
Dress for Interview Success
The first impression you make on a potential employer can make a big difference. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That's why it's always important to dress professionally for a job interview.
How to Dress for an Interview :
Men's Interview Attire
Women's Interview Attire
What Not to Bring to the Interview
Improve Your Interview Technique
A job interview gives you a chance to shine. What you say and what you do is going to either move you to the next round of consideration for employment or knock you out of contention.
Interview Attire Tips
Connect With the Interviewers
Connect with the group as well as the individual interviewers. When one panelist asks a question, respond directly to him or her, but also make eye contact with the rest of the group as you're answering. The more engaged you are - with everyone - the better impression you'll make.
Pay attention to the group dynamics. How does everyone get along? What type of interaction do they have? Is it positive? You're interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you and it's important to see how you will fit in, if you're hired. If you're not comfortable with the synergy between the panelists, think about what it will be like to work with them when making a decision on accepting a job offer.
Follow Up after the Interview Ask for business cards and send a thank you note to everyone you interviewed with. If you don't get a chance to collect business cards, send a thank you note to the person who arranged the interview.