We write a lot of different articles about preparing for interviews, but we only do it because it’s so important. You only have this one chance to make sure you represent yourself to the best of your abilities. So we’ve come up with this little cheat sheet that brings together nine of the tips we consider to be overly important.
1) Always be prepared. We’ve already mentioned this elsewhere, but it bears repeating. In this day and age, there’s no reason not to know everything possible about the firm interviewing you.
2) Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Unless told otherwise, dress up, not down.
3) During the interview, maintain good eye contact and provide a solid handshake.
4) Correlate your experience. Tie in your experience to the employer’s position. Employers like people that can make money, save money or protect the company name. The employer needs to be able to see how your experience relates.
5) Be engaging. Elaborate your answers with employers. DO NOT use one word replies to their answers.
6) Never, I repeat NEVER, say anything negative about your current employer, or any employer for whom you’ve worked for that matter. It’s an immediate turn off.
7) When a prospective employer asks you the dreaded question “So John, do you have any questions?” don’t panic! Good questions to ask are:
- What do you expect me to accomplish in the first three to six months?
- What are he problems a person might encounter in this job?
- Why is this position open?
With questions like these, you may be able to sell the employer on your abilities. On the first interview, never ask about money, benefits or hours. they are important questions, but better left until the last interview. You can always ask an employer whatever you want, but they may not ask you any more questions as a result.
8) The best way to close off an interview is by saying, “Mr Employer, this sounds like a very good opportunity. What is the next step?” Let them answer, then see yourself off with a good, solid, all American handshake.
9) As we’ve mentioned before, send an after interview thank you note ASAP. Then relax and cross your fingers.
Hopefully these nine pointers will help you with your next interview.