Top 10 Interview Tips for the Best Interview Experience

So you’ve mastered the resume! How wonderful and now you have an interview, even better! Congratulations! You’ve now made it to where everybody wants to go. If you’re getting ready for your next interview take a look at our Top 10 Interviewing Tips. I can’t guarantee your success at getting the job but it may help make you stand out in the crowd.

Basic Interview Tips

1. Be on time or early

It should be noted that this shouldn’t be on the list at all except Human Resource people tell me all the time that their candidates are late. Just remember it’s better to be early and wait for the hiring manager than be late and make them wait on you. If needed, make sure you’re there 15 minutes early.While I was in the service if you weren’t 15 minutes early you were already late. I have to admit that this has carried over to my career. I even show up early to telephone conference calls. I’ve worked for people who laugh as I’m hanging on to the phone waiting for the meeting to start!

2. Dress for success

Dressing for successful interviews doesn’t have to mean boring. There are a few tips on how to dress for the occasion but for me there is really only a couple of real points to remember.

  • Wear a jacket (Yes men you should wear a tie preferably not clip on
  • Wear something someone can comment on and ask you questions about Like an interesting piece of Jewelry or a tie pin. Also checkout what the hiring manager is wearing maybe they also have an identifying piece on that may help you start a conversation and build a connection.

3. Bring copies of your resume

Even though most companies will forward your resume to the hiring manager because they are through an automated talent system they may be hard to read so make sure you bring clean resume including a cover letter. If you have more than one interviewer and you know the names make sure that the cover letter is addressed to the Hiring Manager that you are interviewing with. If they don’t tell you their names prior or you only have one name put the one name you have. But if they don’t, put To Whom it May Concern.

4. Make Eye Contact

Establishing good eye contact during an interview can make the difference in whether you successfully get a job. Your eyes serve as the window into your confidence, interest level and professionalism in an interview. Maintaining good eye contact throughout the interview doesn’t exactly mean staring at the Hiring Manager the whole time. It should appear natural and friendly so you can look away from time to time. If you get intimidated or distracted when looking into their eyes, you can look at their forehead

5. Use Non-Verbal Language

From the opening handshake to your smile, posture, and eye contact during the interview, the way you present yourself non-verbally plays a crucial role in how Hiring Manager judges your interest and enthusiasm for the job. Be polite and be yourself. The default job-interview facial expression would be your smile. Your handshake should be firm, but not bone-crushing. Once the Hiring Manager invites you to have a seat, sit up straight and try sitting slightly toward the edge of the chair to appear eager. If you’d like to go back to the basics check out this article from Quint Careers on Basic Interview Tips.

The Best Interview Tips

6. Have you done your Research?

Research, research, research and let me stress Research. You will know of the hiring manager and hopefully you will know any additional people that you would interview with.

Researching the Hiring Manager

First order of business is to make sure you look them up on LinkedIn. Check out this article on How to Research a Hiring Manager before an Interview. Next up you should look them up on Facebook and Google +.

  • Find out if you have any common hobbies or interests
  • If you can befriend them on LinkedIn to check out their connections to see if you have anyone in common
  • See if you have a common Alma matter or a competitive one each can bring bonding over which makes the interview more successful.
  • See if they have prior service in the military (All veterans are proud of their service)
  • Check and if they’ve won any awards

Researching the Company

Make sure you research the company as well so you can show off your new found knowledge.

  • Look at their company website
  • Check trade journals and industry news. Set up Google Alerts this will send you notification if they are in the news.
  • If this is a public company go to Yahoo Finance or Google Finance and check out their quarterly earnings Report. This can come in handy when you’re answering questions and can even help you figure out the best questions to ask.

7. Bring questions!

Remember that the questions you ask will determine the their culture is like. Also the hiring manager is going to be the person you will be working with. What their attitude is will also define how you interact with them in the future. Remember you can refer to your notes so write down the questions you want to ask before hand.

8. Take some notes

You’ve already done a lot of research don’t but you’ll find out a lot more as you go through the interview. Take notes! I had an interview with the hiring manager and she actually brought up the fact that I didn’t take any notes. I think she wanted to make sure that I was paying attention and even basically tested me during the interview. I didn’t receive the job offer but I passed the test. I always thought it may be because I didn’t take notes. Well I’ll always wonder about that…

9. Ask questions

Tying the above question together you’re going to hear clues as to how the culture works, what the hiring manager wants and what is most important to them. Listen carefully and you can almost guarantee that you’ll find the right questions to ask. Look for keywords like “I need someone who is organized”. Pay attention to the questions generally the answer is right there in front of you.

10. Closing the Interview and Following Up

Make sure you get cards/email address to write thank you notes. I always ask for a card because you’ll be wanting to follow up with a thank you note either snail mail or email. From each person if they don’t give you one, call up the Recruiter and ask them. If you still can’t get that the next best way is to look at the email address of the recruiter to see what their email is and then. Make sure you send the email/or thank you note within 24 hours. Don’t delay as you want to be on their mind while their making the decision. Too late and the decision will be made without you.

Good luck in your job search!

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