Practical guidance to Convince Interviewers you are
the Best Candidate for the job!
People say that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. The interview is your opportunity, and we are here to help you get it right! Here are some basic guidelines to help you along…
Appearance and Manner
The importance of a professional appearance and strong presentation and communication skills cannot be overstated. These are your personal marketing tools and you can’t afford to get this part wrong.
- Always dress professionally, even if the interviewer or recruiter suggests it is OK to dress casually. Wear up-to-date business attire in neutral colors and be conservative in your use of fragrance, cosmetics and jewelry.
- Shake hands firmly and address the interviewer by their first name throughout the interview.
- Practice your posture and delivery until you have developed a comfortable style. Generally speaking, posture should be straight and slightly forward, hands in front and lightly on the desk, direct eye contact with keen interest.
- Remember to smile throughout the interview. Rapport and likability are half the battle.
While you should avoid “over-preparing” for an interview, careful preparation can help avoid serious mistakes and give you an advantage over the competition.
- Take a map, the company phone number and the name of the person you are interviewing with. Plan to arrive 20 minutes earlier than the scheduled interview time.
- Know the company’s facts and figures, products, markets, competitors and recent news. Know the position you are applying for. One of the most common questions candidates fail to answer appropriately is “What do you know about us?”
- Ask your recruiter for inside information such as the hot buttons associated with this position, the background of the people you will meet, the key needs of the company, the reason the position is open, and the style of the interview.
- Know your own company’s facts and figures, products, markets, competitors and recent news. You may unexpectedly be asked to provide information about them.
- Rehearse answers for common interview questions asked by employers and always prepare questions to ask. Having no questions prepared sends the message that you have no independent thought process.
- Spend time prior to the interview walking through your own resume and thinking through the context of the experience and qualifications you’ve listed. Also, bring the job description if available and a copy of your resume, along with a professional pad of paper and a pen.
During the Interview
Because each interviewer is different, there are many types of interviews, but the bottom lines is that you’ll have approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to convince the interviewers that you are the best person for the position. It is important to make sure you use this time effectively.
- It’s vital that both parties exchange information, so keep the balance of the conversation flow 50/50.
- Give concise but thorough responses to questions and never take longer than 2 minutes to finish answering.
- Ask clarifying and insightful questions to better understand the role, and avoid asking about salary or benefits in early interviews.
- Always speak positively about previous employers, jobs, colleagues and customers.
Closing the Interview and Follow Up
How you conclude the interview is just as important as how you opened the interview because this is the final impression the interviewer is left with before determining next steps.
- Close the interview by making sure you express interest and thank the interviewer for the opportunity to meet.
- A follow up email with your feedback and gratitude is common etiquette. Remember to ask the hiring manager for a business card before leaving.
- It is also a very important to call your recruiter immediately after the interview and share feedback. Your attitude throughout the interview process is often relayed from the recruiter to the client company. It also keeps you in favor with the recruiter for future positions if this one doesn’t work out.