Savvy job seekers know that the purpose of the resume is to get an interview, and the purpose of a job interview is to get you a job offer. The interview helps the decision-maker identify your qualifications for the position, and also assesses things like personality, cultural fit, and your ability to do the job.
These 4 tips will help you improve your chances of success:
1. Research The Company
Before you apply for a position, you should research the company. Not only will this help you tailor your resume and cover letter for the job, it will also help you identify the real hiring decision-maker(s) — especially if the job posting directs you to apply to the human resources department.
With all the online resources available to job seekers today, the company hiring manager or recruiter expect that you would have some knowledge of the company. Being informed also helps the job seeker talk about products and company challenges. Preparing responses to information about the company could set you up as a resource or solution to the company’s current issues.
2. Picking Your Interview Time
When you are contacted to schedule the interview, sometimes you may be offered a choice of interview times. Which time is best? The answer depends on how interviews are being scheduled. Ask the interviewer. If interviews are being conducted in a single day, or on consecutive days, choose the earliest slot you are offered. Surveys reveal that hiring managers who try to interview a large number of candidates in a short period of time suffer from “interview fatigue.” That means that, by the end of the day, the interviewer is tired, and the interviews all start to run together. Consequently, you have a better chance of making a positive, memorable impression if you interview relatively early in the process.
However, there is one exception. If the interview dates are separated over several days (for example, a Friday and Monday), your best bet is to choose the earliest slot available on the last day interviews are being conducted.
3. Dress For Success
The easiest guide for choosing interview attire is to dress “appropriately.” From your company research, you should have a feel for what employees of the company wear. You want to demonstrate that you understand company culture, so if employees wear “casual” attire on a daily basis, you may choose to wear slacks and a jacket instead of a suit. For women, dress slacks or a skirt are preferred over a dress, and a conservative suit is appropriate in most situations. You want the interviewer to remember you for your interview, not for your outfit.
4. What To Bring To The Interview
Bring a few extra printed copies of your resume with you. Also bring a copy of your cover letter. If you have a portfolio of accomplishments, magazine or newspaper articles quoting you or your achievements, bring them along too. Seeing something in print can help you prove your talents and skills to the interviewer.
You should also bring a prepared a page of reference contacts. These individuals should have all agreed to be listed as a reference, and you should have previously notified them that you are interviewing, and they should be ready to expect a call. Also bring along a printed copy of the job posting.
The prospective employer reads a lot into your interview preparation or lack thereof. You can increase your chances of being offered the job by being prepared for the job interview.
[photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net]