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Job Seeker Blog
The job interview is both an opportunity and a challenge... it’s where you’ll show a potential employer why you’re the right person for their company and open job position, while also deciding if it’s the right fit for you.
Because of the importance of the job interview, not to mention the face-to-face meeting aspect, it’s understandable and even expected that you’re nervous. Thorough preparation – including researching the employer, rehearsing responses to common questions and understanding appropriate topics to discuss – is the key to avoiding potential pitfalls.
What you should wear to an interview will vary depending on both the industry and position you’re interviewing for. A good rule of thumb is that jeans are never appropriate and you can’t go wrong with nice slacks and a collared shirt.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing your interview outfit, and we want to be as helpful as we can, so we’ve complied some in-depth insights and more specific advice on how you can Dress for Success.
Bring a few copies of your resume, a list of references to provide if asked, and if you have one, your portfolio of work.
While you absolutely should not be late, you also shouldn’t be too early. While we recommend planning to arrive 15-20 minutes early (you never know if you’ll hit traffic, or miss a turn), don’t walk in the door until about 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time.
If you absolutely must be late, call as soon as you know you’re running behind and ask for the opportunity to reschedule. The worst thing you can do is simply not show up.
At minimum, you should be familiar with the job description of the position you’ve applied for. If possible, dig around the company’s website to learn as much as you can about their industry, business, and culture.
The length of an interview depends greatly on the position you’re applying for. An interview for a more specialized position will last much longer than a less technical position. Likewise, interviewing for a management position will last much longer than interviewing for an entry-level position.
Be sure to allow plenty of time in your schedule for the interview. Checking your watch if the interview runs longer than expected, or quickly running out at the conclusion to make another appointment demonstrates not only a lack of time management skills, but also of interest in that company and job opportunity.
Interview questions will vary greatly depending on the industry, company, and job position. You can usually expect to be asked about your background, skills, qualifications, accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses. It is also likely you’ll be asked why you’re interested in that specific position and company.
While it’s impossible to know exactly what questions you’ll be asked, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common interview questions, as well as some tips and advice on how to best answer them.
There’s no right or wrong answer to this one – what questions you should ask at your interview truly depends on what you want to know about the position and company. Our best advice is to arrive with 3-4 questions already written down. This not only shows you’re prepared and interested, but also ensures you have a backup or two if some of your questions get answered during the interview conversation.
We’ve compiled some suggestions of questions you could ask during an interview to get you started.
While this is definitely important information you’ll need to make an educated decision upon receiving an offer for a job, the initial interview is not the place to ask about pay and benefits.
If this is the first or only thing you ask about, it shows the interview all you care about is what’s in it for you. Most hiring managers will discuss pay and benefits upon making the job offer, or following the interview, without being asked – they know it’s an important factor to your acceptance of the job or not.
Yes, you should follow up after an interview but you need to make sure it’s appropriate. Don’t ruin your chances at a job offer by making any of these common follow up mistakes.
A good practice is to send a thank you note by email or snail mail a day or two after your initial interview.
While it is possible, usually, you won’t be offered a job on the spot. There may more than one decision maker in the hiring process that must be consulted, and there may be other interviewees they need to speak with before making a final hiring decision.
Yes! Every company will have a slightly different hiring process, but second interviews are very common and arguably even more important than the initial interview. You may be meeting with additional members of the team, or even with a decision maker, so treat any additional interviews with the same importance and preparation as you did the initial interview.
That’s a bummer, but it happens – while multiple candidates are often interviewed, only one person can fill a position. Not getting a job offer doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t qualified or that they didn’t like you… it simply means you weren’t the best fit for that position.
You never know what other opportunities are out there, so if you don’t land the job, remain calm and ensure the hiring manager knows you appreciate their time and the consideration. And most importantly, don’t be discouraged! The right job is out there, it just wasn’t that one.
Ensure you’re fully prepared for the interview.
Be prepared knowing what questions you might be asked.
Be prepared knowing what questions you want to ask.
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