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Interviews are one of the most important things for your career and for yourself. An interview can make or break an opportunity. From my experience there are a few must-dos and don’t-dos during the interview process.
Research the Company
Know the basics of the company you have an interview with. This could be your job. Don’t you want to know what you are getting into? Don’t waste your time or your potential employers time. It’s simple. Know basics, locations, about us and a mission.
Participate, Practice, Practice
let’s be honest, practice makes perfect. I don’t think you should ever turn an interview down. You always need practice. Ask a friend to grill you with a few questions before your interview.
Same deal for preparing. There are many ways to prepare. I like to research the company, have some friends throw questions as me, and look up questions to see if I could answer those as well. There are a million ways to prepare, you just need to find what works for you.
Don’t stress out. I know this is easier said than done. Stay cool. Don’t be nervous. If it’s a phone interview, maybe you need to have some notes with you or walk around– fine do that. Maybe during an in-person interview you are moving around to much, focus on something in the room– and NEVER look at the time.
Ask questions. Simple, right? Ask meaningful questions. I’ve been told that some questions make or break and interview. As a rule of thumb, don’t ask anything that you can do an online search for. Ask thought provoking questions. Ask questions that you can relate back to what you were speaking about or what you were asked earlier.
Dress to Impress
I really don’t want to explain this one any further. Go into that interview wearing your Sunday Best! Knock this out of town with your looks and attitude. Dress like this even if you have a phone interview. Your outfit will translate through with how it makes you feel. And don’t forget to smile…
Smiling, it shows your happy and excited to be here! An outfit is never complete without a smile.
Send a Thank You
Always follow-up with employers. It’s important to do this. Leave a lasting impression in their mind. This shows a different part of your character and I am sure you can never go wrong with a thank you note.
What Not to Do
Show Up Late
This is just bad form. Didn’t your mother to tell you to be on time? What makes this different? Heck show up early! Show up, show them you are excited about this position.
Not being able to answer the question “What do you know about this company?” might just end your quest for employment, at least with this employer. Background information including company history, locations, divisions, and a mission statement are available in an “About Us” section on most company websites.
Dressing inappropriately can work both ways. You will certainly want to wear a suit if you are interviewing for professional position. When interviewing for a summer job at your local theme park or as a lifeguard, for example, dress accordingly in neat and casual attire. If you aren’t sure what to wear, visit the organization and watch employees coming in and out of the office to see what they are wearing.
Shake hands, make eye contact– both of these will exude confidence. You should be engaging with the person you are speaking with. By doing these things you will let the interviewer know that you are an excellent candidate for this position – before you even answer an interview question.
Bad Mouth Past Employers
It’s sometimes a smaller world than you think and you don’t know who your interviewer might know, including that boss who is an idiot… You also don’t want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company if you leave on terms that aren’t the best.
Forget to Follow Up
Afraid you didn’t make the best impression? Are you sure that you aced the interviewed? Either way, be sure to follow up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position and the company. Not following up can make a bad impression.
Go get ’em tiger! I hope these tips helped you out. You will ace your next interview!