Ten Tips to a Successful Interview

Interviews are often designed to be the second part of the interviewing process.

The first step is typically looking at and screening your resume.  They usually choose anywhere from five to ten and then narrow down to two or three resumes to actively pursue.  The interviewing process is different for every corporation.  Some companies have one or two interviews; others may have as many as five.  Typically larger companies may require interviews with several different individuals.  For example, HR may be the initial interview, followed by interviews with various department heads or senior executive officers.  In all situations, the goal of any interview is the same.  An interview is designed to determine whether or not an individual will be a good fit for the company.

Many factors determine a good fit such as education, experience, personality, personal strengths and weaknesses.

The following are TEN TIPS to assist you with the process.

TIP #1 Know the exact address and have directions.

TIP #2 Know the dress code, but always dress professionally.

TIP #3 Be prepared for your discussion.  Research the company, stocks, competitors, financials, etc.  The more you know, the better your chances are of being hired.

TIP #4 Always arrive fifteen minutes early.  Make sure you are courteous and professional to anyone you meet once you get to your interview.

TIP #5 Greet your interviewer with direct eye contact, a firm handshake and a smile.  Body language is observed and often is judged as well.  First impressions go a long way both positive and negative.

TIP #6 Look around the office in which you are being interviewed.  Look at the walls for degrees or awards.  Also, look at the desk for photos or other interests they may have.  If it is appropriate, you can bring up any similarities you may have.  This makes an interview less formal.

TIP #7 Listen and follow the interviewer’s lead.  Sometimes the interviewer will let you know their expectations.  If so, follow and try to stay on track.  If not, let them be your guide and follow along.  Stay on topic and avoid any distractions.

TIP #8 Ensure you are answering the question you were asked.  Answer the question – not too short and not too long.  You can often read your interviewer’s expression and know when they are satisfied with your answer.

TIP #9 Be yourself, but don’t become too relaxed.  Remain professional throughout the entire interview.

TIP #10 Try to be both tactical and strategic with your questions.  Use your research and try to engage your interviewer.  It is good to have a few questions prepared before your interview.

The bottom line is to ask for feedback as to what the next step in the hiring process is.

Make sure you tell your prospective employer that you want the job before you leave the interview.  Try to give specific examples why you feel you would be a good fit for the opportunity.

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