Top 10 Tips for Interviewing

January is often a time for new beginnings, perhaps one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to find a new job. I figured now would be a good time to write the top 10 tips I found to help with an interview.

 

These are tips that I learned in the past years as a Recruitment Consultant.

 

  1. Research the company.

I don’t mean “just” scrolling on their website; I mean really research!  Use all the tools that are available to you. The website is a great place to start, but read what press releases they have had.  Go on LinkedIn, to see their groups and even who they follow.  Have they won any awards?

If it’s a publicly traded company, read the annual and quarterly reports, the transcripts of the calls with the CEO.  Look for reviews on the company, for example; Google and Glassdoor can be an excellent tool for insight on past interview questions.  Be wary of bad reviews when you read them, keep in mind that it’s typically people who have not done very well in the companies that have the most to complain about.

You want to be prepared to answer the question, “So, what do you know about our company?”

 

  1. Know why you’re there.

In an interview, it’s essential to be able to convey to your audience why you’re interested in this position within that company.  What has impressed you about the company? Why this company?

Knowing this will demonstrate that you’ve completed step one and you’re excited to be there.

There’s nothing more disappointing than sitting in the room with an incredibly qualified candidate who doesn’t seem to know why they are there or seem to want the job.  Don’t be that candidate!

 

  1. Prepare a project list.

This is very useful to showcase your actual example.  For a step by step article on how to create one if you don’t already have one, check out this article.

 

  1. Know your resume.

Sounds intuitive…  right?  Most of the questions will stem from what’s on your resume so please do yourself a favour and know it well.  Know exactly what you’ve done and when.  (Side note: it’s not a good idea to include skills, programs or tools on your resume that you’ve only read about in passing.  It will surely make for some awkward moments in an interview)

 

  1. Read the job description.

If you’re provided with a job description, read it and know how it applies to your experience.  Draw an imaginary line (or an actual line if you’d like) to each of the responsibilities and qualifications to the project in your project list that demonstrates what they’re looking for.

 

  1. Be prepared with answers to typical interview questions.

There are A typical interview questions that you will want to have the answers to.  You don’t need to write out paragraphs, but it will be helpful to prepare yourself with point form answers to some commonly asked questions.

Here are a few:

–    Tell me a bit about yourself.

–    What do you know about our company?

–    What makes you interested in this job?

–    What are your strengths and weaknesses?

–    How do you deal with competing priorities?

 

  1. Have questions to ask.

Remember, the interview is for the company as much as it is for you.  Take some time and think of questions to ask, so you know what the job entails.  Feel free to write them down and bring it with you in a nice portfolio.

Here are some suggestions:

–    What does a typical day look like?

–    How many people are on the team and what are their positions and seniority?

–    What does success look like in this job?

–    How are the teams outside of this group?

–    What do you like most about the company?

–    What are the growth plans for the company?

 

  1. Print out a few copies of your resume.

A good rule of thumb is to print two extra copies than the number of people you’ll be meeting.  If only one person is confirmed in your interview, bring three resumes.  If three people are confirmed, bring five copies, etc.

In the event someone you’re meeting with doesn’t already have copies of your resume, you’ll look super prepared!

 

  1. Dress the part.

If you’re interviewing for a consulting or leadership role, I would recommend dressing business formal.

Otherwise, I would dress according to the company’s dress code.

If you have done your research about the company, you have a good idea of their dress code. And when in doubt, I would suggest dressing just slightly more formal than their predicted dress code.  If they’re business casual, I would recommend a suit without a tie.  If the company is casual, go business casual with a dress shirt and dress pants.

 

If you’re coming to the interview directly from your current job, don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know that.  Most times they will not mind if you can’t jump into a phone booth and change for the interview – after all, phone booths are pretty much extinct now.

 

  1. Be early.

You want to make a good first impression, being on time is very important.  I would recommend being around the area about 20-30 minutes early, so you know exactly how to get there.  Sitting down and composing your thoughts before arriving at your interview 5-10 minutes early.  More than 10 minutes you might seem too eager.

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous. Just remember that everyone has been interviewed at some point, including the people who are sitting across from you during your interview. They will understand that you may be tense during the first few minutes, but shake it off and don’t let it get the best of you.

 

Good luck!

 

 

June Coffey

Principle Consultant, IT Soltuions

PMC Specialist Recruitment Solutions

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