Money & Career
8 Steps to Ace Your Next Job Interview
1/31/2018 5:20:22 PM
Interview

Whether you’re chasing a dream job, sending out applications to multiple locations, or feeling completely clueless about the work market, preparation for an interview is the key to achieving a successful outcome. Before the big meeting, review these tips to increase your confidence and impress your potential new employer.
  1. Research the Business – It doesn’t matter if you’re applying with a large conglomerate, a Fortune 500 company, or a local mom and pop shop – the same principle applies. Visit their website to familiarize yourself with the company . . . their background, mission statement, and statistics on products, clients, and services. Consider sampling some of their products. Read reviews from unbiased sources.
  2. Compare Qualifications – When analyzing the job description, do you see knowledge, skills, and abilities listed that you possess? When you review the people who will interview you, or others who work for the company, do you see friends and business associates in common through social media?
  3. Practice Responses – Anticipate questions you may be asked in the interview and prepare appropriate responses. You will likely be asked resume-based, behavioral, and case study questions. Practice telling your story in the best possible way. Be ready to discuss your weaknesses, and always present them with a positive spin by explaining how you’ve worked to overcome them and what you’ve learned in the process. Employers seek honest individuals willing to work towards improving themselves, as well as the job you’re applying for. Also, Google yourself to see what prospective employers might find if they search for you.
  4. Plan Attire – Appropriate and professional dress when interviewing is often considered to be a neutral and conservative outfit such as a suit. Show up well-groomed, freshly ironed, and otherwise as neat as possible. 
  5. Bring Necessary Materials – Take along extra copies of your resume and references on quality paper, notepad and pen, portfolio or samples of work when relevant, and any personal credentials needed to complete paperwork such as social security number, bank account information, etc. You should also have a list of questions ready to ask your interviewer concerning the company and your job expectations. 
  6. Interview Time - Plan to arrive a bit early to your interview, as employers notice punctuality. Likewise, waiting room behavior may be reported by workers observing your nonverbal cues and conversations with others waiting. To project confidence during your interview, smile, make eye contact, and remain attentive.
  7. Your Turn – Interviews usually wind down with the opportunity for you to ask your own questions. Asking appropriate questions about the company shows you’ve done your homework. Prospective employers welcome questions such as What, in your opinion, would make me a successful employee? How will my performance be evaluated? What are my opportunities for growth? And When might I hear from you about the position? It’s best to refrain from asking about salary and benefits until you are offered a position or during a second interview. If the interviewer asks you about your preferred salary, turn it around and ask, "What are you willing to pay me?”
  8. Follow Up – To seal your best first impression, promptly mail your interviewer(s) a hand-written note, or at the very least, an email. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, thank them for their time and consideration, and say you look forward to hearing from them.
Many resources are available to aid in your interview preparation. For more details and tips, check university and business websites such as www.mcneese.edu/career/interviewing.
Posted by: Sylvia Ney | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Career

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