Finding a job can be a long and tedious process.
Sometimes it takes hundreds of applications to get feedback from employers. And when you do, your work is not over. That was the first stage. Now you have to prepare for the (sometimes) feared interview.
That does not have to be that way. We are here to help. With the right preparation, you can turn this fear of interviewing into excitement.
17 Important tips for an interview
We have compiled the top tips from industry experts. We explain exactly what you have to do before, during and after the interview. It doesn't matter whether it's your first or your 40th interview. Following these steps will leave a positive impression on your future employer.
What to do before an interview
Great, your interview is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Congratulations!
Use your time wisely. Unfortunately, you can't just drop by and claim your job. You need to make some preparations to stand out from other applicants. Here's what you need to do before your big day:
1. Research the company
A solid understanding of the company is crucial. You don't want to get caught if you fiddle with basic information during the interview.
You should spend some time on the company's website to familiarize yourself with its mission statement, its top customers, its leadership and its history.
Proper preparation can also help you feel better, said Michelle Armer, HR Manager at CareerBuilder.
"To curb the fear of the interview, respondents should take the time to prepare and build their confidence," she says.
And if you're still feeling scared, Armer recommends that you give an encouraging speech, rehearse your answers, and listen to energetic music to keep your spirits high.
2. Reach out to alumni
In order to get a complete picture of an organization, it is important to hear what its employees are saying. Yes, the company website is a good start, but that's only one perspective.
According to Vipula Gandhi, Managing Partner at Gallup, feedback from alumni is crucial to understanding the corporate culture before an interview. (Gandhi says her tips are based on more than a decade of interview experience, not Gallup's research.)
One way to get an unfiltered employee opinion is to check the company's opinion glass door Reviews. Glassdoor is a job search engine that gathers anonymous employee opinions and rates companies from one to five stars based on employee ratings. But don't stop here.
Gandhi recommended using LinkedIn to connect with current and former employees. This way you have a clear understanding of employee experience.
3. Clean up your social media
What you put on your LinkedIn profile is obviously a fair game for HR.
But what about your Facebook and Instagram? If you have not voluntarily submitted the social media accounts, this could be a legal gray area. However, some employers and recruitment agencies still use them to screen applicants.
What do your social media say about you? If someone has looked at your profile for 10 seconds, what is the interpretation? What are the three words they will say?
Ben Brooks, CEO of Pilot, a career coaching startup, says there are no embarrassing photos of you that can be publicly searched.
"What do your social media say about you?" Brooks asks. "If someone has been looking at your profile for 10 seconds, what is the interpretation? What are the three words they will say?"
Hopefully you are employed.
4. Conduct a test run and sham interview
If you do a full dry run, everything will be easier when the day of the interview comes.
And by "dry running" I mean driving to the interview site to find out logistics like parking and traffic (or to test your webcam if it is one) virtual interview) and invite a friend to do a fake interview with you.
We have compiled a list of the 20 The most common questions about the interviewFrom the infamous "What are your weaknesses?" up to softballs like "What are your hobbies?"
When you have answers to frequently asked questions, you can focus on being in the moment instead of feeling on the spot.
5. Prepare your documents
Depending on your industry and the directions in the application, documents you may need to prepare may include your resume, portfolio sample, or any pre-tests assigned by the company.
Regardless of the industry, you should bring a few additional CVs just in case. You never know if everyone involved in the interview has had time to thoroughly review your application. Even if it does, having additional resumes on hand will help you to look well prepared.
It is best to print out these documents and have them ready for use the evening before. If you don't have a printer or have technical problems, you can print copies cheaply in stores such as UPS, Office Depot and FedEx. There is always your trusted local library too.
6. Plan what you want to wear
How you look in the interview is almost as important as your qualifications. Planning an outfit can be a delicate balancing act and another source of stress for some people.
You want to look sharp – but not overbearing or undressed.
Richard South, Georgia Tech Business Partnership Program Manager, advises thousands of students on best interview practices. He says industry trends should be considered when choosing your outfit.
Ideally, you have already contacted alumni and talked about corporate culture. Ask them about clothes to make sure your outfit is appropriate.
Interview in a company?
"Put on a suit," advises South, noting that suits can be too expensive for other industries.
IT or advertising fields could be more informal. The important part cannot be guessed.
Once you've decided what to wear, take it off before bed – pressed and wrinkle-free. This saves you the trouble of the morning.
7. Sleep well
Research? Check. Documents? Check. Outfit? Check.
If you check all of these boxes the night before, you can sleep better. Try to keep an eye on at least seven to nine hours to play your A-Game the next day.
And make sure the time frame is the actual sleep time, not just the time you spend in bed. It is likely that you are a little nervous. So give yourself an extra hour to fall asleep.
What to do during an interview
Now all the preparation and a good night's sleep are worthwhile. Try to stay alert and relaxed. Don't bother rehearsing your answers. You already did that. Be in the moment and you will be more sincere and personable.
8. Arrive early – and alone
General rule of thumb: 10 minutes early and late.
Ten minutes is the sweet spot because you want to be early, but not so early that they don't expect you.
And please don't bring your parents with you.
Helicopter parents have recently intervened in their children's job search.
A recent one survey by Robert Half has shown that 69% of recruitment managers either wouldn't recommend or were annoyed about parents' involvement in job interviews – from explicit phone calls asking companies to hire their child to baked goods that recruiting managers used to be persuaded.
9. Treat all employees with respect
It doesn't matter if you took the wrong exit from the Interstate that morning and spilled coffee on your freshly squeezed Oxford.
Do not be rude or rude to anyone in or near the company – be it the security guard in the lobby or someone you passed on the street.
As far as you know, Jen could be in accounting.
She doesn't notice that your stomach has second degree burns. She only knows that you ran into her and made her way to the office.
And guess who she will tell you after you leave. Your hiring manager.
10. Turn your work experience into a story
If the interviewer asks something like "Tell me about yourself", this is your time to shine.
A job interview is not about getting your resume up to date.
"It's just about the stories and tales you have," says Brooks.
This is also a good opportunity to include experiences that were not directly relevant to the application, but could relate to your soft skills or your personality.
Perhaps you have completed an au pair program or studied abroad while studying. If so, Talk about your international experience,
Dr. Christine Farrugia was deputy head of research at the Institute for International Education and headed one there study this examined the employability of alumni who studied abroad. She is now leading research initiatives at the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University.
According to Farrugia, the key has an anecdote.
"The person interviewing you may not ask for it directly," she says.
11. Ask the right questions
Interviews are two-way discussions, says Rosemary Haefner, head of HR at Spins, a consulting firm for the retail industry.
"You also want to learn from the company whether it suits you," she says. "Prepare for questions to help you determine whether you are getting not just a paycheck but everything you need to succeed. "
This guide will take you through exactly what Questions you should ask during an interview and why they are useful.
Ask: "What do you really want to achieve and achieve with this role beyond the core tasks?"
Make a good impression by answering your questions positively – avoid criticism of the business model, strategy, brand or product.
Questions like these will not only impress the hiring manager, but will also give you a better understanding of how you will impact the company.
There are also many areas you shouldn't ask about – vacation times or basic information about the company.
"How clever your question is determines how the interviewer sees you," says Gandhi.
12. Pay attention to your body language
HR managers pay great attention to body language.
According to research from Robert Half unspoken signals such as eye contact, facial expressions, posture, handshake and fidget play an extremely important role for your perception during an interview.
Many of these pointers are not intended. They are physical reactions to how you feel. Internal obsession with your posture and facial expression won't help much either.
The point is you should feeling confident and relaxed – and these things result from adequate preparation.
13. Examine your potential manager
When you go into your interview, treat it like a date.
See if you click with your manager. Think to yourself, "If I get this job, I will spend much of my waking life with this person."
Are you funny easy going? Knowledgeable? It is important to understand what makes a good manager, because a bad one can ruin a great job and vice versa.
So don't let the decisive factor be the salary or reputation of the company.
"It's just about the manager," says Gandhi.
14. Do not speak negatively about previous employers
You will inevitably get the question: "Why did you give up your previous job?"
Your mind could return to all the times you were wrong, and you could be tempted to speak out some of these complaints. Just do not.
It looks unprofessional. And the new company might think that if they hire you, one day it will be in one of your negative stories.
Instead, focus on talking about the challenges and opportunities of a new job – not the time your old boss credited the data you got at 2 a.m. to set the deadline.
What to do after an interview
Before you leave the office to do a good job, there are a few other things you should do to increase your chances of getting a job.
15. Ask to visit the office
Visiting the office works in your favor for several reasons.
Firstly, your HR manager's working time will be longer and it will be less formal if you make your rounds and introduce yourself to potential colleagues.
You can also see what is really happening on the ground floor. Pay attention to the work ethic when walking through different pods or work areas. Do they all look stressed or excited?
When it is noon, check to see if many employees are eating at their desks. That could be a sign of revision.
If they reject the tour, this is not a deal breaker. It is possible that the interview does not offer enough time for an office tour, but it never hurts to ask about it.
16. Determine the next steps
Before you say goodbye, make sure you have a clear time frame for feedback.
"Nothing can be more frustrating than conducting an interview and then feeling that everything is silent, ”says Haefner. "Ask the company where the employees are in the recruitment process … and who you can best contact for status updates."
Asking will save you guesswork and you won't go up and down your living room thinking, "It's been a day. Why didn't I hear anything? Shouldn't they have sent an email? I'll call you. You probably still have hired someone! "
In reality, you probably have internal processes that you don't know.
17. Send a thank you note
Thank you letters are a surefire way to stand out from other candidates. HR managers love them and applicants often forget to send them.
In our Jobs hunting 101 Of course, we recommend sending them regardless of the type of interview.
An email should be enough. Try to send it within 24 hours of the interview, and thank everyone who interviewed you separately.
Your messages should include:
A summary of the value you put in the role.
Small clarifications or points that you did not mention during the interview.
Sincere gratitude and enthusiasm.
Avoid the temptation to copy and paste the same script message for everyone. That could backfire. Personalize it as much as possible, if possible. Give it a little flair.
And if you really want brownie points, don't send an email. Submit one handwritten thank you card,
Adam Hardy is on The Penny Hoarder's Make Money team. He feeds on stale puns and iced coffee. Read hisfull bio here, or say hello on Twitter @hardyjournalism,
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