Great interviews are not something that happen by chance. Every aspect of the meeting, from the phone call to make the appointment to the thank you card that should be sent thereafter, has an influence on the company's opinion of the applicant and the likelihood of getting hired. If you're preparing to apply for a new position and want to make the best impression possible, there is a job interview FAQ or two that you should keep in mind.
Before the interview, and even before send in your application, there are several questions you should ask yourself.
- What sort of employee is this company looking for?
- What qualifications do you have that can set you apart from other applicants?
- Which of your traits will be beneficial for this position?
- What time-frame are they planning to hire a new employee in?
- Who will your potential clientele be?
- Why do you want to work there?
There are many ways to find the answers to these questions and knowing them will give you a clear direction to follow as you prepare a job application and resume. If you know anyone who already works there, ask them what traits managers value in their employees and what type of employees are most successful. You can usually look up the company online and learn what their philosophy and policies are so you're prepared to answer any questions concerning them during the interview. Knowing the answers to an important job interview FAQ shows interviewers that you spent time researching and preparing and signals to them your interest in the position. Fine-tune your resume to reflect the things you learn about the company's direction and goals to let them know that you're on the same page.
Practicing for the actual interview is a lot easier than you'd think. Practice answering questions with friends or family members, but make sure to tell them to throw in some tricky ones to help you practice thinking on your feet. Answer questions in front of a mirror to see your facial expressions and body language. Ask friends to give feedback and suggestions.
One of the most important things to remember is to arrive at the interview on time. An employer may not even consider an applicant who was late so be sure to allow extra time to get ready and travel. Arriving early to be friendly and introduce yourself to the receptionist is another way to make a good impression and set yourself apart as a team player.
A common job interview FAQ deals with how to impress interviewers during the meeting. Here are some of the best ways to improve your chances of getting a second interview or job offer:
- Make and keep eye contact
- Offer a solid handshake
- Smile and remain relaxed
- Be confident, but not arrogant
- Dress appropriately
- Use proper manners
- Keep mobile devices turned off
- Thank the interviewer when you arrive and leave
Once you've finished the meeting, it's still not time to relax yet. A common job interview FAQ concerns what to do while you're waiting to hear the company's decision. There are a few things you can do post-interview that can solidify or improve your chances of getting the job. While you probably already know that you need to send a thank-you note after the interview, you may not realize the importance of timing. Emailing a message within 24-hours of the meeting ensures that employers receive it while your interview is still fresh on their minds. If you'd like to add a personal touch or showcase your creativity, a handwritten card can also be sent soon after. There are a few other ways to make a good impression after the interview is over.
First, you need to respect their requests for follow-up. If they suggested emailing to contact them, don't stop by or call on the phone. It's also acceptable to send a couple of documents that showcase your abilities. If you have writing samples or other pieces that will give them a better idea of what you're capable of, feel free to email those post-interview. Contact any connections you may have with the company and request that they send a quick email or mention their confidence in you during conversation with potential employers.
The right preparation, etiquette and follow-up can have a huge impact on the company's impression of you and how likely you are to be considered for the job. Once you've completed these guidelines to a common job interview FAQ or two, your next step is to begin preparing for a second meeting with the company and another chance to set yourself apart as a great prospective employee.