Great work – you aced the phone screen and our client is ready to move forward with an in-person interview! Here are 9 easy steps to knock ‘em dead and get the offer:
1. Do your research: It’s important to show your interviewer that you have taken the time to understand the company, industry, and role. Your interviewers will be testing your knowledge, so come prepared.
2. Bring a copy of your resume: This is a no-brainer. Your interviewers are often working your interview into a busy workday and will appreciate you taking some work off their busy plate.
3. Sell your skills and experiences: You made it this far and there are several skills and experiences that your interviewer is interested in and want to understand a bit more. Remember your key selling points and make sure you are weaving these into your conversations.
4. Know your weaknesses: Nobody’s perfect, but you should have good answers for any gaps. Your interviewers are willing to overlook these gaps due to your other strengths, but you should be ready to speak to them if they ask and easily avoid raising red flags.
5. Prepare for the typical questions: We have heard them all before, so be ready. Such questions include (1) personal questions (e.g., “Why this job?”, “Why should we hire you?”, etc.) and (2) behavior-based questions (i.e. questions that share with “Tell me about a time…”) where your interviewer will expect you to share examples of your working style. Avoid stumbling on these common questions by preparing and memorizing your answers.
6. Practice and don’t worry about sounding rehearsed. Michael Jordan didn’t win six rings by just showing up. Practice responding to common questions and sharing your career highlights in the mirror or with someone else. And don’t worry about sounding rehearsed – no one complained when MJ won those championships with the same shots he had practiced a million times.
7. Plan your route: Don't wait until the last minute to figure out how to get to your interview. In advance of your interview, consider visiting your interview location and familiarizing yourself with the surroundings so you don't have a hard time locating the building or finding a parking spot. Don't let small stuff like this trip you up!
8. Make a great first impression: You only get one chance to make a first impression, so here are a few quick tips to make sure that you miss the opportunity:
a. Dress appropriately: When in Rome… you know the rest. It’s usually safe to go business formal, but if you are interviewing at a company with a more relaxed culture, business casual is acceptable. Use common sense and save your flip-flops for the beach.
b. Make eye contact and give a firm handshake: Small physical cues can make a big impact, so don’t let a limp wrist and weak eye contact prevent you from getting the offer.
c. Just smile: Shed your anxiety, push your concerns aside, and just let your pearly whites shine. A smile can make a big difference – from signaling your excitement to brightening up an exhausted interviewer’s day. Lighten up and show everyone you’re having fun.
d. Don’t wear a fragrance: We know you love your new Bond No. 9 spray but the last thing you need is to have them dying to escape the interview room for some fresh air.
9. Send thank-you notes: After you have completed your interviews, send your interviewers thank-you notes within less than 48 hours. You should show gratitude for their consideration and it is best to do this prior to their meeting to discuss your candidacy.
Follow these nine tips and you’ll be far more likely to get the job. Good luck!