After you apply for a position, you will be asked to come to the place of business for an interview. Regardless of how many interviews you do, they will get your heart pumping, and rattle your nerves. You can offset the stress by being fully prepared for your interview. In an interview, the hiring manager will ask you questions about your background, interests, and in return, they will expect you to ask intelligent and well-though out questions about the business, and the job.
What to Take To an Interview
You must show up at your interview prepared. Bring the following items with you:
- Identification (in case you are offered the job on the spot!)
- Reference letters and contact information for your references.
- Notebook and pen so you can take notes.
- A list of questions you have about the job and the business (see below).
How to Dress For an Interview
How you dress is important. The general rule of thumb is that you dress for an interview, a step above what the job would require as a dress code. For whatever type of position that you are applying for, ensure that your clothes are clean, pressed, and that you are well-groomed. A neat and clean appearance is essential; make sure that your breath is fresh and that your nails are clean. Never wear shorts, short sleeve shirts, open-toed shoes or casual clothes to an interview.
Research the Business
The hiring manager will ask if you have questions. This is the time that an interview tanks, or becomes successful. Potential employers expect applicants to have a basic knowledge of their business, and the job that they are applying for. Search online about the business, the business owners, and the type of clients that they serve. Write in the notebook that you take with you questions you have about the business. Here are some suggestions:
“What is the primary goal for the next year for the team that I’d be working for?”
“What do you see is the biggest challenge for this position?”
Prepare Yourself for Personal Questions
The interviewer will be asking you questions about your background, your interests, and how you feel qualified for the position. It is imperative that you be able to speak thoughtfully and intelligently about your background. Below are some sample questions that you may be asked during the course of an interview.
“Why are you interested in working here?”
“Why do you feel that you are prepared for this position?”
“What do you feel is your most significant accomplishment?”
“Tell me about how you handle difficult people?”
“Do you feel you are dependable?”
“What do you think is your biggest weakness?”
“What hours and days will you be able to work?
“Do you feel that you are a good team member?”
Presenting Yourself Well In an Interview
The interviewer will be paying attention to your non-verbal communication as well as listening to the way you ask and answer questions. Non-verbal communications give those around us insight into our level of anxiety, stress, and confidence. It is essential that you make eye contact throughout the interview. Strong eye contact shows confidence and that you have nothing to hide. It is especially important when answering questions. Throughout the interview, smile and sit up straight. A slouching posture shows problems with self-confidence.
When the interview is complete, thank the interviewer for their time. Ask when they will be making a decision and when you can follow-up with them. When you get home, hand write a Thank You note, and get it in the mail. Tell them how much you enjoyed meeting them and that you hope to be working with them in the future.