There are three areas that you as the job candidate can focus on to increase the likelihood of an interview going well. Those things are:
- Follow up
Obtain and study the job description. Underline the key skills or competencies the company wants the person to possess. What the skills are will vary by job, but the description will say things like self-starter, customer focused and team player. Write these skills down on a piece of paper. Now think about a specific example of where you demonstrated each of these skills well in your last position.
If this is your first job, think of an example of when you demonstrated these skills well at school or in some other aspect of your life. For example, if the job description says they are looking for a self- starter, what is an example of where you did something well without being asked to do it? What is an example you can offer when you overcame a problem to make a customer happy?
Before the day of your interview, I suggest you write out your answers to likely interview questions and practice saying them to someone else. Your responses in an interview should be crisp, concise and complete. It will sound spontaneous but it needs to be rehearsed. You need to describe your role in the situation from when you got involved, all the way to how the situation turned out.
Do your homework on the company. You need to know what it does. Ideally you would know who a couple of its competitors are. If you go to the company’s website you can find recent news releases. Being able to ask a question about a recent event at the company will convey that you have done your homework. Write down two or three questions about the company and be prepared to ask them during the interview. Usually the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. If he or she doesn’t, tell the person you’d like ask a question about the company. He or she could always say no, but I have never seen that happen.
At the end of the interview, assuming you are still interested in the position, try to get a sense for where things stand. You can indicate that you enjoyed the interview and learned more about the company. You can try to find out if you answered all the interviewer’s questions and what the next steps would be. Hopefully they will tell you where they are in the hiring process, what the next steps would be, and when a decision might be made.
After the interview, make sure you follow-up with an e mail. Thank the interviewer for his or her time. Try to mention something that came up in your interview that will help the interviewer remember you. If something came up in the interview, a piece of information or a person, make sure you follow-up and get that to the interviewer. You won’t get a job offer every time you interview for a job. There are a number of things that are out of your hands. The things I described in this column are within your control and will increase how positively you come across in the interview. Good luck!
EASI·Consult® works with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. EASI Consult’s specialties include individual assessment, online employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring compliance. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about EASI Consult, visit www.easiconsult.com, email [email protected] or call 800.922.EASI.