Ace The Interview! Steps (A) Through (Z)

by Marchitello, Mandy Tuesday, May 18, 2010
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A) Write down: the name of the person calling to arrange the interview, the name and title of the person with whom you will be interviewing and the time and location of the interview.

B) Gather as much information as possible about the company – history, size, clients, mission statement, etc.

C) Select proper interview attire.

D) Verify location. If possible, drive to the location the day before to assess commute time and parking layout.

E) Visualize yourself feeling relaxed and happy at the interview.

F) Mentally prepare stories you might share regarding your performance and aptitude.

G) Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.

H) The interview starts the moment you are within 50 feet of the location. Extinguish gum and/or cigarettes. Smile brightly and walk with your shoulders back.

I) While seated in the lobby, take note of your surroundings. Do the employees seem frantic and unhappy or busy and content? Remember, an interview is a two-way street. The company is assessing your qualifications while you too are doing some decision-making of your own. Can you see yourself prospering within these four walls over the next 3 to 5 years?

J) If offered a beverage, opt for water over caffeinated drinks. Caffeine can make you jittery.

K) Upon meeting people, shake their hands confidently and maintain a friendly smile.

L) At the beginning, try to connect with the interviewer on a personal level. Perhaps you notice a photo of a vacation destination on their desk. Inquire about the trip or mention travels of your own. Gently easing into the interview with a fun topic can break the ice and eliminate tension.

M) Maintain consistent eye contact throughout the interview. Doing so conveys interest and respect.

N) Listen. Not only to the words being said but also to any “unspoken” messages that may reveal work conditions and job expectations.

O) While composing your thoughts, remind yourself what a capable and worthy candidate you truly are.

P) Do not bring up salary or anything related to compensation. If the topic is mentioned, you may discuss it but never be the first to do so. Always indicate a desired salary range over an exact figure.

Q) Do not be shy when discussing your achievements with past employers. This is your time to shine. Remember, wave that {insert your name} flag!

GOOD QUESTIONS TO ASK:

R) IS THIS A NEW POSITION OR WAS IT RECENTLY VACATED? If the former occupant was promoted, that’s a great sign. If the former occupant was terminated, that could spell trouble, but not necessarily so. In this instance, be subtle when trying to gather more facts. If the position was recently created, that could signify company growth – another great sign.

S) WHAT QUALITIES ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN THE DESIRED CANDIDATE? Upon learning the answers, you can tailor your performance examples to demonstrate these specific qualities.

T) WHAT IS YOUR TIME LINE? The answer to this question can reveal important information such as whether there might be subsequent interviews, or whether the company has just begun meeting with candidates. Learning where the company stands in the selection process can help you adjust your expectations regarding post-interview follow-up.

U) Tell your interviewer you want the job. Showing up for the interview merely demonstrates that you need a job, not that you want the job. Remember, you are in sales mode. You must express a sincere enthusiasm and desire to affiliate with the company.

V) At the conclusion of the interview, be sure to ask everyone in the room for their business card.

W) Upon returning home, immediately send thank you emails to each person present at the interview. This is the best time to do so, because the conversations and the meeting itself will be fresh in your mind.

X) Personalize each thank you letter. Draw reference to something that was said during the meeting as it relates to the email recipient.

Y) Reiterate your value, potential to perform and desire to affiliate with the company in every thank you letter.

Z) Do not fret about what you said or failed to say. Whats done is done and if its meant to be, you will receive a job offer. In the meantime, treat yourself to something special. You gave a 110% effort today, and you deserve it!