The Interview Process
Confused about the whole interview process? Then
you’ve come to the right place!
Before the Interview:
What you do before the interview is just as important as what you do at the interview. Use these steps to help you be ready and successful by the time your interview comes! And remember, be positive, pleasant and prepared!
1.) Know Yourself:
Know your strengths, goals, accomplishments and personality traits (ex. good leader, work well with others, good at problem solving.) It may help to prepare a list with all of your strengths and such beforehand.
Be prepared to describe your interests, goals, work values, accomplishments and qualifications. Make sure and highlight your assets, even brag about yourself a little. Convince this employer that they really really need you on their staff.
Know why you want the job, what you can offer, and any special skills or knowledge that you have that may be important, relevant or pertinent to the position you want.
2.) Use the Interwebs:
Research the job you are applying to before you go to the interview. Know the training, qualities and tasks you will be expected to do. Picture yourself in the positions environment. Make sure that you will be able to be successful in this job.
Research the company or organization. Find out what products or services they manufacture or offer, how many employees they have, and what the company mission statement is. This will give you some background information about what the company will be looking for in its employees, and help you nail any questions aimed at how you will fit yourself into the work environment. Additionally, it will look really good if you pull out the mission statement, or a statistic about the company during the interview, as it shows you did your research and are a knowledgeable individual.
Look at your social sites. Employers often look at your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and any other social sites you are active on to get an idea of who you are as a person, and decide if you are someone they’d be interested in hiring. Look at what all these say about you. Make sure they all paint a pretty picture of you, or be prepared to have some interesting conversation about what exactly you were doing hanging upside down off of that barn roof in nothing but your underwear.
3.) Review Your Resume and Rehearse the Interview:
Look at your Resume one last time, and make sure it meets all the requirements that an employer may be looking for. Check for any misspellings or grammatical errors, since this will be one of the first impressions a company will get of you. For more help with Resumes, go to the Resume page.
Rehearse the interview before it takes place. Be prepared for all of the questions the interviewer may ask you, and practice answering them with confidence, eye contact, and a strong, steady voice. (For a list of sample questions, scroll down.)
4.) Be Prepped and Ready to Go:
Bring your resume, and the names, job titles, buisness addresses and current phone numbers of your references.
Write down any questions you want to ask the employer. For example, you may want to know what the major responsibilities will be in that position, what initial expectations the company will have of you, how your work will be measured, and when a hiring decision will be made.
Put all of this into a nice folder or briefcase to ensure it doesn’t get lost, wrinkled or ruined.
5.) Set Yourself Up for Success:
Eat a good dinner the night before, and make sure to get a good nights rest, to ensure your brain is happy and ready to go!
Dress for Success. Make sure and dress appropriately for the interview. If you don’t have anything you think will work, ask to borrow a nice blouse or pair of dress slacks from a friend or family member. Remember to put on deoderant, and if you wear perfume, only put on a little. You don’t want a cloud of it to be following you around. A little goes a long way. Take note of your hairstyle and nails. Make sure you are putting your best foot forward in every way! For more information about what to wear visit the how to dress page.
Get moral support. The day or night before, hang out with a positive pal, who will keep your mind off of the interview and your nerves, and give you the upbeat and helpful support you need. No Negative Nancys need to be adding to your stress or nervousness.
The day of the interview, put away your notes and take a quiet moment just to breathe and relax yourself. Picture you walking into the interview and nailing it perfectly. Be confident in you and your abilities. You are going to rock this! Don’t stress!
Finally, be on time. Arrive at least 15 minutes earlier than your interview time. Being late is a definite black mark by your name. Make sure and have time for traffic, parking, getting lost, etc.
Before the Interview Quiz
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Question 1 of 4
From Use the Interwebs:
What was the worst case scenario presented in Use the Interwebs?
(copy the sentence in)Correct
Question 2 of 4
What is one way to set yourself up for success?Correct
Question 3 of 4
What is the order of the steps for before the interview?
Use the Interwebs
Review Your Resume and Rehearse the Interview
Be Prepped and Ready to Go
Set Yourself Up for Success
Question 4 of 4
What are the qualities we mentioned to know about yourself?Correct
During the Interview:
It’s the day of your interview. You’re all ready to go, and have prepped everything you need. You’re getting ready to go into the interviewers office. Now what do you do? Follow these tips to nail a perfect interview.
1.) Be Positive, Pleasant, Polite and Proffessional:
Be happy, positive, friendly and polite. Smile and use eye contact whenever you talk to anyone, especially the interviewer. Don’t use any profanity or slang terms. This is an instant turn off.
Be enthusiastic! Show that you are excited to be there, and happy to discuss your background information and goals.
Be honest and be yourself.
2.) Answer Questions like a Pro:
Be concise. Provide a focused, clear, and to the point answer. Don’t ramble. If you can organize your thoughts and express them clearly in a way that makes sense, you are that much closer to getting the job.
Be prepared to demonstrate. If a job requires you to use a certain piece of technology or equipment, be sure you know how to use it, as you may be asked to show that you are able to operate it correctly.
Think on your feet. No one ever knows all the questions an interviewer may ask you, but if you can come up with valid and complete answers (that may not be perfect, but answers the question adequately,) you are a step above many others. If you need to, take some time to think about your answer and compose yourself. This will only make you look more intelligent and mature. If you have absolutely no idea how to answer the question take your best guess and creatively relate it to something you may have did or something more familiar, even if it may not be exactly what the interview is looking for. At this point, any answer is better than none.
Sound confident. Try to use “uhh,” “um,” “you know,” and “like” as little as possible. Don’t use weak phrases like “I think that I am,” “I hope to,” “I wish,” and “I believe that I can.” This makes you sound unsure, and not confident in your own abilities. Don’t apologize for being nervous. The interview may not have even noticed until you called attention to it.
Have good body language. Don’t fidget and squiggle around in your seat, nervously tap your feet or hands, bite your lip, scowl, chew on your nails, stare off into space, or slouch. Sit up straight, talk directly to the interviewer and smile.
Take note of the interviewers name and title, and use it when needed. Make sure and use it when you thank them at the end as well.
3.) Use Good Manners:
Introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Use a good, firm handshake (not a limpy noodle or bone-crushing one,) eye contact being key.
Thank the interviewer at the beginning and the end of the interview for taking the time to meet with you.
Sit when asked to sit, and not before.
Place your material (briefcase, folder) in your lap or by your chair, and not on the interviewers desk unless asked to do so.
Do not ask for or take any refreshments unless offered them.
Keep all electronic devices, especially cell phones turned off.
Take a deep breathe and relax! Be confident in your abilities, and using these tips you will be sure to nail a perfect interview!
You did it! You made it through the interview, so now what do you do?
After the Interview:
Should you touch base again sometime in the future? Will they contact you? By what date will the position be filled? Will there be another interview if they call you back? Etc.
2.) Send a thank-you note to the interviewer.
Send a handwritten, personal note thanking the employer for considering you for the job. It does not need to be long, in fact keep it as short and sweet as possible. This will help display your interest in the job, keep you fresh in the minds of the interviewer and show your eagerness to be a part of the company.
3.) Learn from the experience.
Remember the especially hard questions, and any areas you felt you didn’t do as well on. Reflect on how you could have improved and use them to help you do better on your next interview.
4.) Breathe a sigh of relief.
Whew! You did it! Now comes the easy part, waiting until you find out if you got the job or not. Be patient, and don’t pester the company or interviewer with emails or phone calls.