When you are looking for a job, whether it is your first or you’ve been working for a number of years, the inevitable interview is always going to come up. It would be a very rare thing indeed to find that you are hired without having to go through one.
Although the interview process is something that many people dread and feel is going to be a miserable, uncomfortable experience, it should be looked on in a positive light. To start with, having an interview means that your resume was interesting and you have the skills needed for the job. Secondly, this is your chance to find out more about the company in which you might one day be working, and that is as important as getting the job in the first place.
Researching the company you are hoping to work for before an interview is one thing you must not forget to do. You need to know exactly what the company does, who the directors are, what they are known for, and anything else you can find out about them. This will help to put you at your ease because you will feel more confident, but it will also mean that you can answer questions more easily. Plus it will impress the interviewer if you can show you have this knowledge; it shows you are interested in the job and the company as a whole.
Making a good impression in your interview is just as important as showing you do have the skills and qualifications to make a good employee. Combined, this can all prove to the employer that you are the ideal candidate.
Read Your Resume
When you applied for the job, you will have sent in your resume and perhaps a covering letter too. Make sure you read through your resume before you go into the interview. This is the document that the interviewer will be using to ask you questions, and it may be that you wrote it some time ago – you may have forgotten some of the details on it and refreshing your memory is a good idea.
An interview is essentially a series of questions about yourself and your career, so anticipate as many as you can. You will be asked why you want the job, what you can bring to the company, where you see yourself in a year’s time (or similar), and more. Many questions will be fairly generalized, and you can have a good idea of what you might be asked and have good answers prepared in advance.
There will also be more specific questions relating to your own experience and your resume. If you took an MS in operations management online, you might be asked what you feel that gives you in terms of knowledge and skills, or if you created specific systems for your previous company you might be asked how you went about this and what benefits it brought. Make sure you know what and how you did everything that is listed out.
Know Why You Want The Job
One of the questions that most interviewers will ask is why you want the job you are applying for, so this is absolutely something you should anticipate and have an answer prepared for.
Don’t say it’s for the money, or that the location is convenient even if this happens to be the truth – it’s not what the interviewer is looking for in an answer. What they want to know is more about your personality and skills, and how passionate you are about the position that needs to be filled. Show that you will be an asset by proving that this job is what will suit your personal skillset the most, and that will be a good start.
Remember, if you really can’t think of a good reason why you want the job it may be best to look for a different one as you may not like the one you are applying for if you get it and don’t know why you want it.
An interview means showing your very best self, and being completely professional is a big part of that. Ideally, you should wear what you would wear to do the job. If this would normally be a uniform then you wouldn’t be expected to wear that, but make sure you are smart and well presented, that your hair is neat and you are clean and tidy. It may not seem like much, but it can make all the difference. This first impression could be what puts the interviewer on your side, or not.
Dressing smartly is a good start when you are being professional, but there is more to it. Manners are also crucial, as is having the right attitude. Even if you are nervous, don’t show it. All of this will prove you are a smart, capable, interesting person and that will help you in an interview.
You will have noticed how, at the end of an interview, most interviewers will ask you if you have any questions. This is not simply a polite thing to do; it is all part of the interview itself. This is the final question, and your answer is just as important as all the others.
Make sure you have some good questions ready before you start the interview. Asking them shows that you are able to analyze the situation and that you aren’t afraid to get answers. If you say you don’t have any questions, this could be off-putting. It might make an interviewer think you weren’t paying attention during the interview, or that you weren’t interested. They might think that you just didn’t do your research. Think of questions in advance and come up with more during the interview too.