Interviews can be the scariest part of the hiring process. By this time, you’ve worked so hard to make your resume look perfect. You’ve applied for the jobs that match your skills and you’re anxiously waiting to hear back for an interview. Alas, you get scheduled for a job interview and the thoughts start pouring in, the nerves hit the pit of your stomach and you think, “I have to nail this interview.” Here are some tips to prepare:
I’ve been to countless job interviews, enough to know that many of them ask common questions, such as “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” This can seem like a loaded question, as we don’t want to list any weaknesses, however, we’re human and it’s unrealistic to think we don’t have one weakness. There are ways around this by simply stating something small you’d like to work on about yourself. I’ve always said, “I don’t think of anything as a weakness, just a way to become better than I was yesterday.” Be prepared for some element of surprise, because it’s easy to get caught off guard, but make sure you practice or do a “mock interview” with a friend or career counselor.
It’s very important to learn about the company for which you’re trying to work for, and you’ve probably done a little research before you applied. There are a few things you need to know, such as the mission and the goals of the company. This can provide you the opportunity to match your skills with their needs. Be sure to visit their websites, social media pages and read any news publications to learn as much as you can. Most companies will assume you’ve researched their mission before arrival.
This is your time to showcase your personality, so don’t let your outfit become a distraction. Avoid wearing strong perfume or cologne, make sure your clothes are clean and pressed, and depending on the workplace, it’s best to cover up your tattoos or piercings as much as possible. Use your best judgement and wear your best outfit. They say it’s best to dress the part for the job you want and think of this as an audition in a role for the play. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Toward the end of your interview, in most cases you’ll be asked if you have any questions. It’s always a good idea to ask questions. Not only are they interviewing you, but in a way, you’re interviewing them as well. A great of example of this would be, ““What are the most important things you’d like to see me accomplish in the first 30, 60 and 90 days of employment?” Try to avoid questions regarding salary or how soon you’ll be promoted.
It’s always a good idea to ponder your experience and assess how well you think you did. After the interview write down the questions that were asked and how you answered them. What could you have done differently? Next, follow-up with a thank-you note or an email to the interviewing committee. You’ll want to express your continued interest in the position and reiterate your skills and qualifications and how they apply to the job you’re seeking.
– Written By Dominique Castellon
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