While job interviewing can sometimes seem like a juggling act, these tips will help you succeed at your next job interview. By investing some time prior to the interview, it will alleviate some of the stressed involved and help you feel more comfortable during the process.
- Do your homework
Research the company thoroughly to learn as much as you can about the organization’s missions and values as well as its services, customers, and competitors. This will give you a better chance of selling yourself and allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the company’s challenges and needs.
- Practice Practice Practice
Taking the time to review commonly asked interview questions will provide you a framework for your responses and prevent you from scrambling for an answer while you’re in the hot seat.
- Be on time
Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled time. While you should never arrive late, arriving too early should also be avoided, as it will create an awkward situation with your hiring manager. If you’re running ahead of schedule, I suggest walking around the neighborhood or ducking into a nearby coffee shop.
- Say cheese!
Don’t underestimate the value of a smile. Not only does it express enthusiasm to your interviewer but it will also help you feel better about yourself.
- Turn the tables
Always remember that an interview is a two-way street so in addition to being observant of the atmosphere of the organization, ask your own questions. This is not only a great opportunity for you to learn more about the company and your potential role within that organization but it also reinforces the idea that you are knowledgeable and the ideal candidate. Some questions you could ask include:
- What kind of training do you offer new employees?
- How would you describe the culture of this organization?
- What is the biggest challenge facing this organization right now?
- FOLLOW UP!
Don’t forget to send a thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. This is your opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position and briefly mention anything you may have forgotten to address during the interview. Here is a sample of something you could send:
Dear Ms. Smith,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday about the staff writer position with San Francisco Chronicle.
It was a pleasure meeting with you, and I truly enjoyed learning more about the role and the company. After our conversation, I am confident that my skills and experiences are a great match for this opportunity. I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of joining your team and would greatly appreciate a follow-up as you move forward with the hiring process.
If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Best of luck!
Fourth Year Sociology Major