No matter where you are in your career or your life, interviews are (unfortunately) a reality for many of us.
We interview if we’re looking for that first job out of school, if we’re looking for a promotion within a company we already work for, or even for things like belonging to a certain group or charity organization.
Interview skills are invaluable and knowing some do’s and don’ts can really make or break your first impression.
We put together a few tips we thought were worth mentioning.
So lets take a look!
Do your research
Whether it’s a job interview or something else, research both the company AND your interviewer beforehand. If you do your research and come across as a knowledgeable candidate, it shows that you care enough to put in the effort to go the extra mile. Knowing what school your interviewer went to or if they’ve had anything published could make for a great personal connection that sets you apart from other candidates.
Listen and answer appropriately
So many times people think they know what employers want to hear and answer questions based on that approach rather than what the interviewer is actually asking. Listen carefully to questions, never interrupt, and actually answer the question asked. Your answer may vary from your practiced answers that you had prepared, but it’s better to answer the question asked than to come across like you weren’t fully listening.
Never bash an experience or prior employer. Even if during the interview the interviewer complains or talks badly about one of your prior employers, be cautious. If you’re willing to talk badly about prior employers what’s stopping you from talking badly about a future one?
When in doubt, over-prepare
If they ask you to bring two copies of your resume, bring 5. If they ask you to arrive at 4, arrive at 3:45 (I would arrive at 3:30 and sit at a coffee shop nearby). There is nothing wrong with being over-prepared but it can be a disaster if the one time you need the train to be on time, it breaks down. Or in your rush to get to the interview you spill coffee on one of your resumes.
Interviews are so stressful and after what seems like endless questions you get to the end and the interviewer asks you: Do you have any questions for me? And all you want to do is say no so the interview can be over, but this is a bad move. Asking questions at the end of an interview shows you are fully invested and interested. Things like: What is your favorite part about working here? Or, Can I meet some people I would be working with? Or, What does the career path look like for someone in this position? All these questions show your interest in working here as well as your interest in STAYING here.