The interview is the single most important part of the hiring process. During the interview, potential employers assess your capabilities and your personality to see if you would be a good fit for the position and the organization as a whole. You may be asked to interview several times for the same position. You may meet people at all different levels, including people that could end up being your coworkers, your direct supervisor or your CEO. So make sure you are 100% prepared by following the guidelines below.
Get a copy of the job description.
- Research the company and the position you have applied for. See what the company is all about and what they are looking for.
- Talk to people who work or have worked at the company.
- Develop a list of appropriate, intelligent questions. Not just about salary and hours, but questions that reflect your research – about what the company strives for and what your main responsibilities would be as their employee.
- What are my skills and abilities? What are my strengths?
- How do my skills and experiences relate to the position and employers’ needs?
- What contributions will I bring to the employer?
- What points do I want to be sure to get across during the interview?
- How does this position fit into my career goals and past accomplishments?
- Practice answering interview questions out loud. (Check out: Common Job Interview Questions)
- Be aware of your body language…what is your body language under pressure?
- Remember to smile and be yourself!
- Confirm date, time and place of interview. If you have concerns about getting there or where to park, do a practice run the day before.
- Confirm your interviewer’s name and title.
- Pack several copies of your resume; a list of references, including names, titles, addresses and telephone numbers; writing samples if appropriate; and letters of recommendation. Although you probably sent a copy when you applied for the job, prospective employees like to see you taking that initiative.
- Dress appropriately (Questions? Check out one: What To Wear To Your Interview)
- Be punctual. Plan to arrive early. Promptness is one of the key factors employers look for in their employees.
- Researching the Organization: Before the job interview, you should research the organization. It is easier to convince an employer that you would be of benefit to the organization if you are knowledgeable about it. In addition, information obtained through research can help you decide whether you want to work for a specific organization.
General areas to research:
- How old is the organization, and what is its history of development?
- Where are the offices located?
- What are the company’s market, products and goals?
- How does this organization rank in the industry?
- Are there any plans for expansion?
- What is the organizational structure?
- What problems does the organization need to overcome? (By identifying the problems that the organization faces, you can match your abilities to these ends during the interview.)
Memorize some facts about the company and be prepared to cite them during the interview.