Welcome to the Friday Forum!
Every Friday, we take a question submitted by one of our readers and have our professionals field it and provide advice. We then encourage members of the Need a New Gig community to comment below and give their take!
Here is This Week’s Question:
“I just started looking for a new job and I landed an interview much quicker then expected. I am definitely excited about this opportunity, but the only problem is that it has been a long time since I have had an interview. Honestly, it was almost almost seven years ago when I finishing college. Is there anything specific I should do to prepare to make sure it goes well?”
When you interview for a new job you are selling the potential employer on your skills and why you feel you are a fit for the position. You want to show them that you not only have the experience that they are looking for and that you can do the job, but that you are also a good fit for the team. Since most professionals only look to change jobs every few years or more, it is important to brush up on your interview skills and make sure that you are prepared.
How To Prepare For Your Interview
First and foremost, it is important to conduct your necessary research. Take a look at the company website to get a feel for their values and also what they do in general. Dig in a little deeper by searching online to see what is currently going on with the organization and what others are saying. Be sure to write down any questions that come to mind so you can ask them in your meeting. It may also be worth your time to conduct some research on the individuals that you are meeting with. Sometimes a college connection or previous company can be a great ice breaker.
Why are you a fit?
Once you have completed your research on the company it is time to dissect the job description and figure out why you are a fit. Make a list of the skills that you have that are applicable to the position in which you are applying. Think of examples of when you have demonstrated these skills in certain situations. If you have any questions related to the position or what they are looking for be sure to add them to your list!
Prepare and practice responses
Interviews are usually a combination of resume and behavioral based questions. Review your resume and be prepared to answer any questions related to your experience. Refer back to the examples that you came up with previously and formulate answers for the “give me a time when” type of behavioral questions. Recruit a family member or friend to conduct a mock interview to help you practice. This will help you nail down your responses to ensure a smooth delivery.
Depending on the organization it is important to consider the dress code. Majority of the time business professional is the way to go, however there are organizations that may not require the suit and tie. Check out our piece on what to wear to an interview for more details.
What should you bring with you?
- Extra copies of your resume
- A few copies of your references
- A Binder or notepad/pen
- Information that may be needed to complete an application
- Samples of your work
- Bottle of water
First impressions are huge when it comes to landing a job, so make sure that you are ready! Come in with a positive attitude and a smile on your face as soon as you walk through the door. Be sure to be kind to everyone that you interact with. During your interview have good posture, be attentive, and maintain eye contact. Keep your body language and reactions in mind to portray a positive vibe. Finally be sure to give a firm handshake and thank them for their time.
What are Your Thoughts? Comment Below!
How do you prepare for an interview?
Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig. Follow his blog for more great tips like this!