August 1, 2012
Recently, I've had many friends come to me asking for advice on interviews. As a manger I've had the opportunity to interview many candidates for positions, but I've also been on the other side of the interview table. Here are my tips for helping you succeed in an interview:
- Be nice to the Security Guard or Receptionist – It may seem like a simple task but many times interviewees are not polite and courteous to the person at the front desk. While you may think that this person is “beneath you,” keep in mind they most likely know the person you are interviewing with and may be asked how your attitude was towards them. If you do succeed in your interview and become employed you could end up seeing this person every day!
- Reach out and shake their hand – Make the effort to stand up, reach your hand out, and say “Hi, my name is Kate, so nice to meet you.” Lead the conversation and show that you are a friendly and outgoing candidate.
- Make eye contact – While I'm interviewing you I don't want to see that you're staring off into space. Be able to make eye contact with the person who's interviewing you (nothing creepy of course!).
- Smile – Though you may be nervous (nerves are good!), smile and relax.
- Remember you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you – While the employer is deciding if you will be a good fit for the company and that you have a manageable personality, you are also finding out if this position will work for you. Is this where you want to work? Can you work under this person?
- Be Prepared – Make sure you've done your research prior to the interview. Look around on the company's website, on their social media pages, and find out what is being said about them in the news. Chances are you will be asked to answer questions that will show how well you prepared for the position. You never want to answer the question with, “I actually haven't looked into that enough to know.”
- Ask Questions – Take your time to prepare questions prior to your interview. It's okay to have these questions written out and to take notes while your questions are being answered. Preparing questions in advance shows that you are truly interested in the position!
- Say Thank You – Don't forget to tell the interviewer thank you for his or her time. Tell them you're interested in the position and you look forward to hearing back from them.
What other tips do you have for succeeding in an interview?