Over the last 8 years working in the staffing industry I have seen some of the most successful and disastrous interviews one could imagine. Sometimes the sad truth is, you just aren’t the right person for that particular job or to join that particular team. While other times your preparation and expectations could be the only reason why you don’t get an offer.
We could sit and talk in-depth about interviews for a while, but for now I wanted to pass along a few tips I’ve learned that might assist the next time you find yourself in a job search. I am going to share 4 suggestions for phone interviews, 5 in-person interview tips, and a few possible questions to ask in the interview.
- Have a copy of your resume in front of you at all times. This will help you recall information about your background faster and always keep you focused. The manager is going to be looking at it, you should too!
- Make sure to find a quiet room where no one will disturb you and there will be no possibilities for background noise. Don’t take a phone interview on a car ride or when you’ll be pressed for time unless absolutely necessary. If necessary, make the interviewer aware of your situation up front so they know what to expect.
- Most communication is shown by visual cues/facial expressions. Because this is a phone call, try to convey enthusiasm in your voice for the position as one of the main reasons why people don’t continue to an in-person interview is their lack of excitement for the job shown over the phone.
- At the end of the call, if you feel this is a position you’d like to move forward with make sure you let the manager know.
Research the Company:
- I can’t stress to you how much this will set you a part. For some reason in today’s day and age people don’t take 10 minutes to look up where they are going. Research what the company does you are interviewing with! Go to the website, watch any videos you can to learn about who they are, what their products are, or the type of culture they have. Read the about us part of their page. Google their company and see if they’ve been in the news recently. When the manager asks you what you know about their company, you should be comfortably prepared for the answer.
Don’t talk negatively about your past Companies
- Talking respectfully about the companies that chose to offer you employment in the past is important. I can recall several fantastic candidates who were turned away specifically because of their negative attitude and bad mouthing toward their old or current positions. While it’s important to convey issues you may currently have in your work environment, why you want to leave, or why you parted ways in the past, do it with a calm demeanor and with respect. Yes, that means if your current or old boss was an absolute … you still need to express that in a fair manor.
- Asking good questions shows your interest in the position, your competency, and that this is somewhere you want to be. You are choosing a place that you are going to spend 8 hours of your day at (probably) for the next several years (or career). Make no mistake you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. Make sure that this is where you want to be. If you ask 0 questions, it may not come across that you want to be there. Quite frankly I’d question if you really want to be there! I posted several examples of good questions to ask below.
Ask for the job
- So, you just spent time researching the company, taking a tour, and talking to the team for over an hour. Odds are you have a pretty good idea if you want this job. If you’re not sure yet, no problem! End the interview on a positive note and be on your way. If you know this is where you want to make the next move in your career, ask for the job. Too many people don’t make the most obvious comment to the manager. That you want this job. “Rick, I believe my skillset fits exactly what you are looking for. I love what you do here, your plans for the future, and would love to be a part of this team if you decide to have me.” You can chose how to phrase it based on your prior conversation, but ask for the job.
Send a Thank you Letter
- While this is not absolutely necessary, it shows you care enough to follow up. Keep this short and sweet. No one, I repeat… No one wants to read a long thank you letter. Thank them for their time and remind them that you want the job. SPELL CHECK, make sure everything looks pristine, spell check it again, and then send.
Possible Questions to ask in an Interview
- What causes you to be excited about working here? Or What makes you excited to come to work here every morning?
- Of all the responsibilities in the job, what is the most important to you?
- What goals are you looking to hit in the department in the next 6 months or year?
- What problems or issues are you facing in the department right now?
- Why was the last person in my role unsuccessful? Or why are you looking to add someone to the team?
- How is success measured in this position, or in the company?
- How do you see this positions responsibility changing in the future?
- What can you tell me about my peers (my team) in the company?
- If I prove myself successful in this role, what might some advancement opportunities be for me within the company in the future?
Do not bring up salary, vacation, or benefits unless you are asked about them. This is a conversation you can have when they decide to make you an offer. If you have interest in looking at a fuller version of an interview prep document just let me know. I have a word document we send to our candidates. I hope this helps in your next meeting!