June 4, 2018
Job Interview Preparation
Preparing for a job interview can be quite stressful, especially if you haven’t been to one in quite some time. For many, it really comes down to preparation because the better prepared you are, the greater your chances of landing that position you’ve been working so hard to get. In this post, you will discover some important job interview preparation techniques to help you rise above your competition.
Gather and prepare your job search documents:
There are a few documents you’ll need to have on hand when going on an interview, and it will be extremely important to have them all before leaving. Some of those documents include your ID, a completed resume, reference pages, cover letter, reference letters, performance reviews, diplomas, certificates, or anything else that pertains to the specific position you are interviewing for.
Clothing is Vital – select something appropriate for the occasion
When people say that first impressions are everything, it’s the truth. Dress to target the position you are applying for. If you are applying for a framing position in construction, for example, you will not arrive to the interview in a 3 piece suit. Look at what others are wearing within that company and dress accordingly.
Scope out the location:
It’s always better to get the directions sorted out before leaving for the interview. If you’ve never been there before, go there a day ahead of time and search the place out. This way when you leave on the day of the interview, finding it will not be an issue. There is nothing worse than getting lost on the way to the interview and showing up late.
Perform your due-diligence on the company:
Do your research on the company and find out information about what they do, how they are perceived in the marketplace, and any other information that can be used in the interview during the Q & A session. The more information you know about them, the greater your ability to tailor your interview answers accordingly. This all can help you to outline your resume correctly. There are many kinds of resume, each one for special situation (i.e. military resume writing to join the military forces).
Practice Q & A’s
Practice makes perfect! Prepare a list of potential interview questions and answers. Have a friend or family member fire questions at you to get you prepared for the intensity of the interview.
Arrive at least 15 minutes early
Always get to the job interview early. Rule of thumb is to arrive at least 15-20 minutes early. There are several reasons for this. The main reason is to show interest in the company and to show you are on time. The other is there may be a lot of paperwork that will need to be filled out ahead of the interview, so getting there early will help the process move along smoothly.
With the current state economy, you simply have to prepare better than the next person in order to nail the job interview. The greater your preparation and research, the greater your chance of finding success. If you do miss out on landing that new job, don’t fret – just learn from it because each time you will get that much better.
Are first impressions really that important? The answer is… YES!
When the decision comes to hire a new employee, the candidates that are chosen almost always will share similar educational backgrounds, skills and experience. Because of this, it can be the small things that make the difference between getting the job or not. A lousy handshake or dirty shoes can be all it takes to lose out on getting the job.
Top tips to make sure that your first impression counts!
A person who looks professional portrays the image of being professional. A person who looks sloppy portrays an image of being sloppy. If two people walk into an office and candidate one is perfectly dressed with clean shoes a shirt tucked in and brushed hair, and candidate 2 walks in looking like they just woke up, it goes without saying which candidate will more likely get the job. Before even discussing their skills, the hiring manager’s first impression about professionalism has already been made.
As a hiring manager, I can tell you there is nothing more off putting than interviewing a candidate with bad hygiene. No matter what job you are applying for, bad breath or lack of hygiene is not going to help you to get ahead. There is a fine balance between wearing the right amount of perfume/aftershave or too much. If the interviewer can smell your perfume from across the table you are probably wearing too much!
Addressing the interviewer properly
Showing respect toward the interviewer is paramount. Remember the interviewer is not your best friend who you have known for many years. Using slang or shortening their name (“Wassup Dave”) is not the correct way to make a good first impression.
A great mistake you can make in the interview is to speak too much and not answer questions. Interviewing is a 2-way process. Not only do you need to directly answer the interview questions, but you need to listen to what the interviewer is saying. Unless it is a direct yes or no answer, always provide examples and evidence to support what you are saying. Make sure you leave the interviewer with no doubts that you are the right person for the job.
Handshake and Smile
When you walk into the interview, a solid handshake and smile will go a long way to building rapport with the interviewer and will also leave a positive memory in their minds after the interview has finished. Typically the person who is interviewing you will often be your boss, and therefore they will want to know that not only do you have the skills required to do the job, but that they are going to want to work with you on a daily basis.
Example Interview Questions: Why Should We Hire You For This Job?
The reason they should hire you is because you’re best person for the job because of your skills and competence and also because of the enthusiasm you will bring to the role. You can be assured that 90% of the candidates will start pitching their skills and achievements, but what makes you stand out more is your enthusiasm and passion for the role. When describing your skills and achievements, relate them to the job description and give reasons why you would add value to the business. When pitching yourself, remember the importance of body language. Sit up in your chair and be positive.
Tip: Prepare for the interview by taking the job description and write down the skills you bring to each description and examples of accomplishments and achievements. Having examples ready to go can really help you when answering this question.
Example answer: (applying for a sales position)
“With my 5 years of work experience I have developed, maintained and expanded customer relationships, positioned new products to drive sales growth and developed new marketing strategies to ensure sales targets are exceeded and market share increased. I have expertise in the implementation of account strategies, tactical sales and marketing plans.
As you can see my sales records speak for themselves, and in my previous role I was awarded for consistently exceeding sales and profit targets. Most importantly, I am extremely passionate about what I do and have a love for sales.”
Example Interview Questions: What Makes You Want To Work Hard?
This is a good question from the interviewer’s perspective, but also an easy question to answer if you’re prepared. If we were to answer this question in a court room under oath a large percentage of people (myself included) would naturally say material rewards, higher salary, big bonus, perks etc. Luckily we are not in a court room. Focus more on being part of a successful team, adding value to the organization and the satisfaction you derive from it.
10 Great Questions To Ask In A Job Interview
In a job interview, the majority of the interview questions are directed at you. Interviews can seem very one-sided and intimidating at times. However at the end of each interview, most employers will leave some time to ask you if you have any questions for them. Some candidates get taken aback by this question or are too nervous to think of any interview questions to ask. Employers say most candidates don’t take advantage of the opportunity to ask them questions enough, leaving them to assume that maybe the candidate is not serious about the position or thinking seriously if the job is the right fit for them.
Be prepared with some questions about the position you’re applying for before you go in for your job interview. If your questions are answered during the interview, try to at least ask some follow-up questions to the information they provided. Asking questions is a great way to show the research you’ve done on the company—new projects, partnerships or campaigns they’ve launched, and express your seriousness about the position. Through intelligent, inquisitive questions you can end the interview with a bang and leave the interviewers with a positive impression of you even if the entire interview wasn’t perfect.
Remember that the more detailed questions you can ask specifically about the company, the better. Just be sure to phrase them in a professional way, keep it positive and don’t bring up any controversial topics. Check out some of the best questions to ask in an interview below. You can tailor them to the position/ company you’re interviewing for.
- If hired, how could I best help the company meet its goals?
- What do you like most about working here and what would you say is the most important aspect of your company culture? What is your ideal communication style with your staff?
- If I were to start tomorrow what should the top priorities be on my to-do list?
- What are your expectations for this position and how can someone surpass your expectations?
- What are the top skill and qualities you feel the right candidate needs to excel in this position?
- What improvements or changes do you hope the new candidate will bring to this position?
- What does a typical day or work week look like for the person in this position? Could you tell me any examples of projects I would be working on if I were to get the position?
- Does the company offer any continued education or professional training opportunities?
- Is there anything that stands out to you that makes you think I might Not be the right fit for this position?
- What are the next steps in the selection process? When do you expect to make a decision?
Job Interview Killers
When it comes to your job interview, you want to leave it with nothing but positive energy. You want to leave the interviewer thinking that you will most certainly be a positive addition to his or her company. The last thing you want to do is to kill your chances with a simple mistake or two. While there are a number of ways to prepare for a successful interview, there are also a number of ways to quickly end your chances of getting hired. Below are some simple things to avoid during an interview:
- Showing up late: This is not only rude, but it also reflects poorly on your work ethic. Do you routinely show up late? Are you someone who can’t be counted on? Don’t disqualify yourself before even meeting the interviewer.
- Forgetting to turn your cell phone off (or keeping it on silent): Having a cell phone ring during an interview is not only disruptive – it’s also disrespectful. While it may not be an automatic interview-killer, it certainly won’t improve your chances.
- Chewing gum: This looks/sounds unprofessional and tacky. No employer appreciates someone talking to them with a mouthful of gum. It’s even worse if you’re someone who chews loudly without even realizing.
- Using “I don’t know” as a response to questions: The purpose of an interview is to provide the interviewer with more information about you. The more you give them, the better.
- Using slang or profanity: This is never a positive in the workplace. Speak professionally.
- Bringing up personal problems: An interview is about the job in question and about your specific qualifications, not about your personal life. While you will almost always be asked to talk a little bit about yourself, try to keep the personal talk to a minimum. Certainly don’t bring up any “issues” that will raise red flags.
These “killers” may seem a little obvious, but they happen all the time. Avoid these mistakes and you’re already ahead of a large part of the competition.