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Tips on Acing the Job Interview
With all of these tips and tricks out there, I’m sure the internet has lots of advice for you regarding how to ace a job interview. Why then should you listen to me? Because, they call me the “job whisperer”, due to my ability to always procure employment. For that reason alone, I can help you to ace the interview and help you to get the job you want J
1. Your resume and cover letter
Before you can even get an interview, you need to ensure that your resume and cover letter are presentable, and interesting. Potential employers know when you’ve just copied and pasted something from Google, so get creative. My advice is to have a graphic designer spruce up your resume for you, and make it at least a bit more interesting to look at. For your cover letter, include how your skills would add value to the company (extra points for specific examples). Let’s say you’re applying for a position at Company A, who you researched and discovered that they have recently built a new call center for customer service. Briefly mention the ways in which your skill set would be able to enhance their new system in order to set yourself above the competition.
2. Do your research
Once you are selected for an interview, research the company itself. Who are the owners/operators? What have they done recently? What’s the buzz in social media about them? Do you know anyone that currently works or makes purchases there? Take notes on a small flash card and bring it with you to the interview. Doing your research and appearing as though you are interested in a career as opposed to a job will assist in setting you apart.
3. Dress Code
How you are dressed says millions before you even have a chance to open your mouth. The common advice is to wear a neutral colored suit, like black, navy blue or grey. This can vary according to the job that you are interviewing for, but that is considered a general rule of thumb. For example, I switched my black blazer for a patterned one when I went to an interview for a jewelry retail position a few years back, that asked for a more edgy and fashion conscious look. Dress for what you want to do! Keep jewelry to a minimum, and remove multiple piercings. No funky hair styles or colors, and nothing on your nails. Cover any tattoos as much as possible. Dress to impress the potential employer and look as though you are serious about the interview, and possibly working for them!
4. Greet the Receptionist
This is usually overlooked, but make sure that you give a hearty and friendly greeting to the receptionist, office liaison, or whatever title the company may give to their first point of contact. You are actually in an unofficial interview with them as well, and sometimes their opinion of you can be considered before you enter the interview room. Make sure that you smile, engage them, and appear alert in the waiting area.
5. Special Mention – Waiting Area
Leave your cell phone off and at the bottom of your pocket or bag or whatever you’re carrying. Leave it in the car if you can lol do not use your cell phone while you are waiting to be interviewed. Turn it off to avoid any potential interruptions in the interview room itself. Whatever is going on can wait until after the interview!
6. Engage the interviewer
The interview itself is your chance to shine! Engage the interviewer, and don’t force them to drag answers and explanations out of you. Examples of past experience are always good, things you’ve researched related to the job and company, and present yourself in a good way. You are selling yourself essentially to the interviewer so do so with gusto! An interviewer commented on the fact that they did not have to drag answers out of me, thus negating the previous person they spoke with. Do not be so nervous and timid that you discredit yourself. Wing it, because you have nothing to lose!
7. Questions for the interviewer
Always ask the interviewer questions, especially if they ask “Do you have any questions for me?” – they always will. Ask whom you will report to, if it isn’t clear that it will be the interviewer. A favorite question I like to ask is, “How would you describe your management style?” This will give you insight into the type of environment you are entering, and give you a better idea of whether or not it will be a good fit for you. A few more questions to ask:
Is there anything on my resume or from this interview that would hinder my chances at being selected? – Rarely interviewers will answer this honestly, but it is a good question to ask.
Are there any projects or goals that would match my skill set and that I would be able to assist your company in reaching?
Do you offer training or chances to participate in continuing education?
How soon will you make a decision?
I recommend you select three questions to ask in total.
8. Thank the interviewer.
Remember to say thank you! If possible, send the interviewer a hand-written note to say thanks, or send an email afterward. Hand-written is recommended as a personal touch.
9. Never stop making yourself better!
Sometimes you don’t get the job, and that’s ok! Your task after the interview to is see how you can better yourself, and your resume, to make moves professionally. Maybe you can participate in a training or course to learn a new skill. You can also read something related to your interest area, or watch something on YouTube that would assist you. Your goal after the interview is to grade yourself, and see how you can do better for the next time.
That’s all I have! If you can think of anything else, please comment and let me know. Happy hunting!