You can enhance the interview process by keeping a few things in mind. This is an experience that should show you in a positive light. Remember these key things and you should do well.
- Manners – Everyone you meet at the company is potentially assessing you, so be polite and courteous to each and every person you interact with at the company. Be mindful that even the receptionist may be asked how you treated her. A little courtesy goes a long way.
- Get contact information – Make sure you have the contact information (especially email address!) for anyone who interviews you. The easiest way to get this is often to ask for a business card. This way, you have the proper spelling of the person’s name (in case you didn’t have it before), their exact job title, and phone and email contact information. This is especially important if a second interviewer joins the meeting, and you didn’t know this person would be participating in advance. It’s often most natural if you ask for the card at the beginning of the interview, when he or she is introduced to you. Simply say, “It’s great to meet you. Do you happen to have a business card?”
- Be interested – Express your interest in working for the company. Don’t be too forward or aggressive, but after you’ve had a chance to learn more about the job and its requirements, it’s fine to say something like, “The more I learn about this job, and the better I get to know the company, the more I know I’d like to work here and see it as a good fit!”
- Have a “closing statement” – Near the end of the interview, be ready to summarize (in 90 seconds or less) why you think you’d be a good fit for the position. Bonus points if you can incorporate some fact or tidbit that came up in the interview that particularly resonated with the interviewer. Although you want to prepare this closing statement in advance (and practice it several times), you don’t want it to sound canned or rehearsed.
- Offer to provide anything else that is needed – Don’t be afraid to ask if the hiring agent would like a list of references (you, of course, have this all ready to go!), work samples, a 90-day plan (what you’d do in your first 90 days on the job), etc. Find out the best way to get this information to the interviewer, and when they want it.
- Next steps – You want to know if there is another round of interviews, and when it will begin. Ask if it’s okay for you to follow up with your interviewer if you haven’t heard from them. (This is especially important to request if the next step in the process hasn’t been defined, or if there is no definite timeline for additional interviews or a hiring decision.) Ask how many candidates will advance to the next round of interviews. Do they have a specific start date in mind for the position? And finally, inquire about how they’d like to be contacted for follow-up — do they prefer phone or email?
The hiring process isn’t over until it’s really over. Ending your job search is the ultimate goal! Remember, no matter how well the interview went, the job isn’t yours until you receive an offer, accept it, and it’s approved. If it’s the job you want, you only need one offer.