Here are important considerations as you plan your in-person interview.
- How To Look The Part
- Why Preparing Questions Matters
- Why Your Conversation Cannot Be Too Casual
- How You Talk About Your Last Employer Matters
- 5 Bad Manner Candidates Exhibit
- This Is Key To Your Preparation!
- Why The Proverbial “We” Is A No-no
Talk to one of our recruiters for more information about acing your next interview at 763.231.1402.
First impressions matter. You want to look your best for an interview. What that looks like may vary a bit depending on the position, but in general here are some basic guidelines:
- A clean, polished appearance – No wrinkled clothing, scuffed shoes or disheveled hair
- Go a bit more formal when in doubt – Better to err on the side of being overdressed vs underdressed (e.g. blazer, dress shirt, dress shoes etc.)
- Simple, classic look – Steer clear of trendy fashions and loud colors/prints, and aim for YOU to stand out, not your clothing
We can’t emphasize enough what a huge mistake it is to not prepare questions! Look at the company’s website, look closely at the job description, check out their social media presence (e.g. Facebook page) and prepare some intelligent questions. Even if ALL your questions are answered during the interview, when they ask if you have other questions a safe bet is to say: “Could you tell me how long you’ve been with the company and what you like best about working here?” or “Since we’d be working closely together can you share with me your leadership style?”
Employers want to put you at ease when you come in for an interview, so they can really get to know you. That’s terrific! But don’t make the mistake of thinking it gives you permission to get chummy, be super casual, and say things you wouldn’t typically share in a new business setting. Relax, let your personality and experience shine, but stay professional!
It doesn’t matter if you loved your last employer or disliked them. It doesn’t matter if you left on good terms or bad terms. It DOES matter how you talk about your last employer. Always put your best foot forward when discussing your last employer. Regardless of the situation, what did you enjoy about your work, what did you learn, and what great experiences were you given. If your tenure was short, be prepared to address that in as positive a light as possible (e.g., I enjoyed the clients I worked with and really had hoped to be at the organization longer, but some organizational changes just didn’t make that possible.)
You got the interview….great! Make sure to mind your manners. Here are things candidates do when interviewing that are considered bad manners:
- Being cold and impolite to front office staff
- Helping yourself to coffee and/or food in the office
- Laid-back posture and inattentive demeanor
- Not taking notes and/or not having prepared questions
- Not thanking the interviewers for their time
Have you taken the time to learn as much as you can about the organization? It’s not difficult to find their website, Facebook page, LinkedIn page and recent articles and/or news items. Jot down some notes based on what you have read. It shows a prospective employer that you have initiative, an interest in their organization, and took the time to fully prepare for the opportunity to interview with them.
This is a very common interview mistake. Candidates are asked questions specifically about what THEY have done, and answer these questions with the proverbial “we”. Even if you’re part of a team and can’t take full credit for some of your accomplishments, you can still talk about your role. Here’s an example:
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
We worked to implement a new, very successful clinical program.
I did research and wrote sections of what became a very successful clinical program.