- Arrive at least 10 minutes early, earlier if you need to stop in the restroom prior to going into the interview. Arrive with a pen and paper to take notes. Appear organized, carrying resume and company information documents in a neatly organized folder or organizer.
- Wait to be asked to take a seat. Sit closer to the edge of the sofa or chair; do not rest against the back.
- Use the interviewers last name at all times or credentials such as, Dr. Jones. Always say Ms. when addressing a woman to avoid having to ask for further clarification.
- Be ready for open-ended questions. Move the conversation in the direction of the adjectives you identified as a representation of you. For example: “Tell me about yourself”… A good answer relates your skills, abilities and attributes back to the position.
“I am a hardworking, industrious individual that likes to problem-solve and get the job done. I excel at motivating people and orchestrating positive team dynamics. While working at company ABC I was able to restructure the customer service department by reviewing personnel strengths. I created a three-tier program that increased customer response time by 85%. I feel that my experience and my ability to be goal-oriented and focused would benefit the position of Quality Assurance Manager at ABC company.”
- When addressing a weakness question, be honest and then phrase your response into a learning situation. “What is one of your weaknesses?”…
“When I first began to oversee the production widget department, one of my professional weaknesses was not making my expectations clear to the production line workers. I had recently been promoted from the production line myself, and thought that work would continue as before; however, I underestimated the response of my former peers. In retrospect, I would have conducted an initial manager’s meeting to discuss the overall operations, my expectations and my open door policy.”
- When addressing periods of being out of work (usually a year or more), be sure to indicate how you continued to use your skills or abilities in a volunteering, consulting, other professional manner or educational pursuits. Hiring managers do understand the effects of the economy; however, they want to know that you were still keeping your skills fresh and making the best of the situation.
- Use the language of the industry that you are applying for, especially IT Corporations. If you are not up-to-date on this, research and learn it. On the job training is not as prevalent as it once was, as firms are looking for employees who can go to work today.
- Interview the interviewer- about the company. Be cautious here though and do not ask about salary or benefits. It is good to lead in with knowledge you have acquired and relate it to the position you are seeking. For example:
“Having read the recent article in Newsweek about the growth of this industry I was particularly interested in the footnote about how ABC Company has implemented a new sales approach. How would the Assistant Sales Marketing Manager position be involved in that new strategy?”
Sample questions include:
How is the company seeking to grow?
What have you enjoyed most about working for ABC Company?
What do you foresee as the biggest changes to the company or products in the near future?
- Know the signals that the interviewer is ready to end the interview. They will standing, begin to move through the interview at a faster pace, and begin to summarize the interview. Make sure to firmly shake the interviewer’s hand and thank them for their time. Reiterate your desire to work for their company and that you have enjoyed meeting them and learning more about their company.
A Platinum Resume, LLC
Kara Varner, MAOM, CPRW