Successful Job Interview

February 19, 2009

If you have followed all of the past steps (set up everything for graduation, found the right job, and completed your resume) then you should be getting ready to sit down for the interview any day! The interview process can be very nerve racking for anyone involved, including the employers themselves; there is a lot to worry about from there standpoint. They need to make sure that you are a competent, successful person. They need to know that you posses the skills for the job. And they need to make sure that you are not going to leave immediately after getting hired or trained. They only have the time it takes to interview you to find all of this out, so interviewers can be very meticulous in their assessments. It’s your job to prepare well for the interview: know what you can offer them, anticipate the questions they are going to ask, and make sure you leave them with a great first impression.

The first step to nailing a good interview is to make sure that you are prepared before you go into it. That means doing at least a little bit of research on the company before you sit down with them. It’s not a bad idea to take a look at their website; read their mission statement, their history, maybe even their managerial bio’s. Know how the company got to where it is and where they are going. Also, you should make sure you have reviewed every detail of your resume, especially experience that dates back or you may need some refreshment on, because you want to be able to talk about everything you have done in the past and show them that you are capable of handling the responsibilities of the job.

Another thing that I have found is helpful in my preparation for an interview is to anticipate some of the questions that you might hear from the interviewer. While every interview is different, I have found that you will usually start off with some questions about your personal history or how you think you can contribute to the team, but those are softballs. The more difficult questions come when the person interviewing you asks you situational questions to test your ability to think on the spot, or if they ask you to rely a past experience with a potential situation you may face in their company. It is a good idea to consider the job that you will be doing, and try to think about some past experience you have had that will relate to what you will be doing in the job, just in case the questions come up. Some questions that I have heard in the past range from “what is your greatest accomplishment/ strength/ weakness?” to more in depth questions like “think about a time when you were in a group and you had to make a difficult decision. What was the situation, what decision did you make, and what was the outcome?”. There are good sites you can find on the internet that will show you a list of questions you might encounter in an interview, and its not a bad idea to review them before you go in.

Another essential to completing a successful interview is to make sure you dress for the part, because like it or not, looks matter, even in business. Make sure that everything you are wearing is clean, ironed and matching, and make sure you have taken the time to freshen up with a shower and maybe a haircut. While wearing cologne or perfume may make you smell a little better, I have found that a lot of people don’t know when enough is enough. You don’t want to be that guy. If it is a question of whether or not to wear any, I’d say no scent is better than too strong of a scent.

Finally, the last piece of advice for interviewing I can give is to not be overconfident. Even if you feel that you are way to overqualified for the job at hand, the fact is you are still not hired until you are hired. There are a whole bunch of reasons that you might not get the job, including the fact that the person interviewing you just doesn’t like your face or your tone in general. Just make sure that you are humble, respectful, and know your place, and you should be hearing back from them ASAP! Good Luck!