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Being offered a job interview means the hiring manager saw something they liked in your cover letter or resume. Everything you do and say will be evaluated, so look and act your best to give yourself the best chance for getting the job.
In the competitive business world, there are sure to be other highly qualified candidates going after the same job, making it critical to your success that you stand out from the competition. And the key to standing out and remaining calm under pressure is arriving as prepared as possible.
Research the company beforehand so you can showcase that knowledge during the interview. This will demonstrate you interest and enthusiasm about the company and position, and help you formulate intelligent questions to ask.
Make sure you know where the office is, how to get there, how long it will take to get there, and parking availability.
Do you have the name (including correct pronunciation), title and phone number of the person you’ll be meeting with?
Your clothing should be neat, pressed, and professional. It can be difficult to know the culture of the office environment beforehand, so err on the side of conservative.
Prior to your interview, prepare and rehearse your answers to common questions the interviewer is likely to ask.
Find at least three key people – such as former supervisors, colleagues, or instructors – who are willing to serve as your professional references.
Be sure to secure their permission beforehand, and be certain that they’ll speak highly of you if contacted by a potential employer.
Be sure to arrive at least 10 - 15 minutes before the interview. Take the time to visit the restroom, wash your hands, and check your appearance in the mirror.
Turn your cell phone off so it doesn’t go off and cause distraction during your interview.
Remember to be very polite – employers will often ask the receptionist for their first impressions of candidates.
Ensure you have all necessary items with you before leaving home:
Candidates who show interest by asking knowledgeable questions about the organization often favorably impress interviewers.
If asked to submit an application, fill it out neatly and completely.
Don’t attach your resume unless requested. Your resume is generally considered a supplement to the application, not a substitution.
Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and an enthusiastic smile. Be sure to maintain eye contact as best you can.
The interview is your chance to shine, so now is not the time to be humble.
Develop your elevator speech, a compelling 30-second sales pitch outlining why you should be selected. It should include your strengths, your abilities, and what sets you uniquely apart from other applicants.
Keep the following in mind during your interview:
If the interviewer asks what salary you want, give a range based on your research of the job market, but indicate that you’re more interested in the opportunity for continued learning and professional development than in a specific salary.
Reiterate your interest in the job and the company by asking about the next step in the process.
If you get the impression the interview is not going well, don’t let your discouragement show. Remain poised, upbeat and professional. There may be other opportunities in the company that would be a better fit.
After the interview, send a handwritten note or friendly email thanking the interviewer for their time and consideration, as well as restating your interest and commitment to the position.
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