Interviewing 101

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As a recruiter, I have seen hundreds of people come in for interviews. They range from sales managers, administrators, recruiters, sales and marketing reps, retail store representatives, and everything in between. It is unbelievable how many of the basic interview rules are broken.  Keep these 11 interview tips in mind, and you should rock the interview!

11 Interview Tips

1. Bring Your Resume: If you don’t have one, make one.  If your printer doesn’t work, go to the library. If you forgot it, forget it. No one wants to hire someone who is forgetful.

2. Do Your Research: Don’t ask the secretary on the phone all of your questions.  Go to any social media outlet and do the research yourself.  Through Facebook, the company’s website, the job posting you applied to, and LinkedIn, you should become very familiar with the company and its mission.  If you still have questions, save them for the interview.

3. Interview Yourself: Write down a list of questions you think you’ll be asked during the interview, and interview yourself in a mirror.  Do you look confident? Do you sound confident? Do you sound too rehearsed?

4. Dress For Success: If you want to become the CFO of the company, dress like it, even if you’re interviewing for an entry-level position.  Managers talk to their bosses about who they’ve interviewed, and they point out the exceptionally sharp ones.  The higher ups could be keeping an eye out for you before you even are hired.

5. Do Not Reschedule: When you set up that interview, you had better make sure there is nothing on earth that will stop you from going to it.  Unless your child comes down with anthrax poisoning, make that interview.  It is annoying and burdensome to an employer who took time out of his/her day to interview you only to find out you can’t make it.

6. Arrive 15 Minutes Early: If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re 5 minutes late.  Practice driving to the location to allot enough driving time the day of the interview.

7. Do Not Walk In With a Beverage: I am a coffeeaholic, but drink your caffeinated beverage at home before you leave for the interview.  You’ll already have your resume and portfolio to hold onto and if you also have a beverage, you will have a difficult time shaking someone’s hand.  It’s typical to be offered either or both at the interview, so don’t worry about getting a dry mouth during the interview.

8. Be Yourself: Don’t give the company answers they want to hear. Give them your answers.  If you have to lie during the interview to land the part, you probably won’t excel at it.

9. Be Confident: Of course interviews make everyone anxious, but don’t appear as such.  Make sure to have a firm handshake (but not too firm–that shows you are trying to be overpowering or intimidating), maintain eye conduct during the interview, and remember to breathe.

10. Maintain Your Posture: This goes along with confidence.  Square your shoulders and straighten your back.  Good posture makes you appear taller, more confident, and poised. People with poor posture appear unconfident and nervous. The person with whom you’re interviewing will make note of that.

11. Ask Questions: At the end of the interview, the employer will always ask if you have any questions. Having some prepared makes you look actively engaged and interested.

For more on preparing for interviews, check out my posts about creating your resume and tips for the interview itself.

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