The art of the interview
Congratulations you’ve managed to get your resume noticed and you’ve been selected for the interview! Now what?
The reality is your resume got you in the door, but the interview gets you the job. There are usually two steps; a phone interview and an in-person interview, there can be multiple of each, but we’ll stick to the basics.
Before I get down to the lists, there is one thing to remember above all, be honest and know your resume as these are the two building blocks for a good interview.
The Phone Interview:
- Find a quiet place, with good reception, use a land line if you can, don’t drive around while interviewing, drop calls kill interviews.
- Have your resume and the job description in front of you, and know them backwards and forwards.
- Let the interviewer finish talking before answering.
- Answer honestly, don’t Google the answer, say “I’m not sure, but I know how to find the answer.” If you go out and find a canned answer somewhere it’s going to come back and bite you in the in-person interview.
- Take notes on your interview so you can refer back to them as needed.
- When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, always ask one, make a list of them before the interview.
- Don’t be afraid to ask what the next steps are at the end of the interview, it shows interest, and the answer can sometime give you an idea of how your interview went.
The In-person Interview:
- Be prepared, research the company, and have some good facts written down.
- Dress to impress, but know your audience. Essentially you want to dress a step above your interviewer. Most of the time you can’t go wrong with a suit and tie; however, many companies today have a much more relaxed dress code, so do some research…you may find that you should leave the jacket and tie at home.
- Bring multiple copies of your resume.
- Be early, but not too early. 15 minutes is good, an hour early? Go get some coffee and relax a bit.
- Take notes, it shows you are paying attention, write down questions you might have for later.
- Answer questions succinctly, and to the point. Try not to ramble.
- Don’t slouch.
- Don’t forget to ask questions, especially ones based on the research you did before the interview, and ones based on the notes you took throughout the interview.
- Ask for the job, something to the effect of “I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with you. What comes next?”
- If you really want to differentiate yourself, leave a hand written note at the front desk saying thank you for the opportunity.
Don’t forget to follow up! An email to say thanks the same day is great, and a follow up call 72 hours or so is also a good plan; but don’t be a stalker.
Thanks for reading, and good hunting!