4 Steps to a Great Interview
There are several keys to a successful interview, and most of them start with being informed. While interviews can evoke feelings of fear and nerves, they don’t have to.
By doing the correct preparations and knowing what you have to offer, you’ll stand out among the rest of the interviewees each and every time. Read along for some best practices for your next interview.
Know the Company
Rule #1 of any good interview is to research and know a bit about the company. It looks unprofessional and uninformed to arrive without knowing basic facts, but it can also showcase your interest in the position by knowing the important information.
You should have a firm grasp on what the company does, if there’s anything newsworthy currently going on, a bit about the other positions that you might be working with, and so on. You don’t need to know every single detail, but a general grasp and some key facts will make things much easier for you.
Ask the Right Questions
It goes without saying that you’ll be asked if you have any questions, and the answer should always be “yes.” Even if the interview was very thorough, you still need to come up with a few questions to ask.
Solid questions can range from “What’s a typical day on the job?” to “Can you tell me a bit about this company’s culture?” to “What’s the long term employment track for this position?” Asking questions gives the employer insights into your thought processes, as well as your ability to think on your feet.
Without a doubt, you’re going to be asked to talk a bit about yourself, and this is often the first question. It’s very general and can be a tough one to answer thoughtfully. Since you know this question will likely come, you can practice a bit – stay professional with a mix of your background experience, education, why you’re a great fit for the job, how you got to where you are today, and so on.
Keep this answer fairly short and sweet, but focus the details on the position and why you’re the best fit.
Secondly, know what you bring to the table. You have special talents, gifts, and experiences that no one else has, and you can use them to your advantage. Make sure that you’re showcasing what makes you unique, and therefore perfect for the position, versus focusing on general qualities and answers that you think you “should” say.
Following up can make the difference between silence and a job offer. Send a thank you note within 24 hours to keep things timely. An email is great and appropriate in this instance because it can get there quickly. Email your thank you note to every employee that you spoke with during your interview, personalizing for each employee.
In general, thank them for their time and consideration of you. Be sure to show that you’re still interested in the position and would appreciated any follow-up. Also be sure to ask if they need any additional information from you.
Simply be grateful and kind and continue to show interest in the position, should you still be interested.