Ace the Interview

Once you have been able to successfully present yourself on paper with a resume, it’s time to make your case in person. Job interviews, short or long, can be daunting for even the most confident applicant. But interviews can be manageable and even enjoyable if you are prepared.

Here are tips that will help get you on the right path to getting hired:

  • Do your research. Do an internet news search, visit the company’s web site, use LinkedIn and write down three important things you know about the company.
  • Arrive 10-15 Minutes Early. Showing up to the interview too early shows you did not pay attention to the scheduled interview time.
  • Remember what’s in your resume.
  • Relate your skills and qualifications to the company’s needs.
  • Remember the name of the person you are interviewing with.
  • Practice. An interviewer may ask you this question… “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an angry customer?” If your answer is….“Well, I would try and calm the person down, ask what happened and figure out a solution”… you will not impress the interviewer. Most hiring managers want a real-life experience. An answer that is appropriate is “When I was at the counter a customer was screaming about an incorrect price.  After explaining her issue we were able to figure out that the item was in fact priced incorrectly and we fixed the error. By listening to her vent and then saying I was here to help, the customer left satisfied”.
  • Do not discuss salary. 
  • Ask questions after the interview.  Almost all hiring managers will ask “Do you have any questions?”  Answering “NO” is a big NO NO!  The recruiter is now thinking “how much does this person really care about this company/position?” Good questions to ask are:
    – Can you tell me a little bit about the culture of the department?
    – What are the normal work hours for this position?
    – What are your expectations for this position?
  • Be confident. 
  • Close the interview. Remember to ask for the job.  For anyone in a sales position, that comes easy, for others not so much.  Most job seekers forget to ask for the job at the end of the interview or ask for the next steps in the interview process or ask for the recommendation to be interviewed by the hiring manager if you are being interviewed by the recruiter.  Ask these questions: How do I compare to the other candidates? What are the next steps in the interview process? Have I met all of the skills and requirements that are needed for the job?  Do you think I am the right fit for this position?
  • Follow up. Your best-laid interview plans will go to waste if you neglect to follow up with your interviews. Send a thank-you letter immediately after your interview that reiterates positive characteristics about yourself and, if possible, refers to some part of your conversation.