During The Job Interview
You have a job interview. Congratulations! You have made it through the initial screening process - the company you are interested in has reviewed your resume and background and believes you have the expertise needed to be considered for the open position. The interview is now your opportunity to shine and convince the team interviewing you that you are the best candidate for the job. Here are some ways we recommend you do it.
1. Remember to be confident and maintain eye contact
Keeping eye contact with the person doing the interview shows that you are genuine and self-confident.
2. Give answers that are clear and to the point
Instead of just answering a question with “yes” or “no,” explain with a little more detail. For example, if they ask, “Have you had any experience with budgets?” you can respond with a summarized, yet specific answer like “Yes, at my last company, I was responsible for creating and adhering to budgets for a 20-property portfolio.” Furthermore, make sure to talk about what you were personally in charge of when asked about team projects.
3. When asked about your salary requirements, don’t go too low or too high
If you don’t know the salary range for the position when asked this question, it’s okay. Tell them what you are currently making, including the base salary and any other payment received, like bonuses. Let them know you are flexible and will weigh all aspect of the opportunity. You want to make sure you are getting what you are worth without pricing yourself out of the position.
4. Come prepared to describe why you want to work in this position at that particular company
Before the interview, you will have done research on the company, including its press releases and reports. Doing so will help you better express why you are interested in working for them. Moreover, you will be able to state your short and long-term goals while operating as a member of their team. Employers want someone who will be with the company for a long time. Make sure to mention why you would be an asset to them now and in the future.
5. Be authentic and genuine, but remain professional
Avoid making inappropriate comments or jokes and do not share unnecessary personal information. This may cause the interviewer to make unwanted judgments about you. Be sure to stay professional and tactful in your answers.
6. Avoid talking negatively about your last company or supervisor
During an interview, it is not the time or place to speak poorly about anyone. If you do, the interviewer will wonder if you were let go or pushed out of your last job. They might think you will be an employee who whines and becomes a bad influence on other employees. This might turn them away from wanting to hire you. Instead of bashing your prior company, describe the differences between the two and why this one would be a better match and a more appealing one to work for.
7. Ask for a business card
Doing so will show that you are interested in keeping in contact. It will also give you the information to follow-up with them and send a thank you note.
8. Before leaving, communicate your interest once again
At the end of the interview, give a firm handshake and restate your interest in the job. Be sure to reiterate an example of how your specific experience would make you a fit. Also, ask if they have any more questions or concerns about your capability and skill set match for this position. Getting these last statements in will show your confidence and enthusiasm for the job. Likewise, it will give you one more opportunity to alleviate any concerns they might have and promote yourself before the interview is over.
For additional tips on how to prepare for an interview read Part I (Prepare For a Successful Interview with These Eight Tips) and be sure to watch for Part III (coming out this Fall) on what to do as follow-up after the interview has taken place.