So you’ve researched the company, written your resume and cover letter (if they asked for it), sent it out to the company and now you’ve got an interview, congratulations! But the adventure is far from over, you’ve still got to nail this interview and knock the interviewer’s socks off! We’re here to give you tips for before, during and after the interview. We will also discuss questions that are most commonly asked. Note: These are tips for any job interview in general, if you know your job interview will be a bit more specialized, be sure to take steps to accommodate any specific requests made by the employer.
Before The Interview:
- Research, research, research: If you didn’t look into the company before applying, be sure to do so now. Understand their values and what they are about. Also, if they have any social media accounts that can give you a peek into their company culture, be sure to check those out. These will be great things to bring up during the interview.
- Glassdoor.com is your friend: This site will allow you to see what current and past employees have said about the company, salary ranges for positions and (best of all) insights into the company’s interview process! In some cases they may tell you the questions asked by the interviewer. As with any review site, we must warn you not to take every review at face value, only if the same thing is said consistently over a period of time should you take it into consideration.
- Practice your answers: Look up possible questions you may be asked during the interview and be sure to have an idea of how you would answer them (be sure the answers don’t sound scripted or rehearsed, that will make you sound less genuine).
- Have questions of your own prepared: The interview goes both ways, this is your chance to get questions you had while researching the company answered.
During the Interview:
- Start off strong: Usually the interviewer will initiate the handshake, be sure to have a firm, not crushing grip. Smile throughout the interview, not just at the beginning. Be sure to remember what name they use to introduce themselves with as well, that way you can thank them with it at the end.
- Talk about your experiences: When they ask about something on your resume, give them more details beyond what’s already there. Also, highlight your achievements due to that experience. This is your chance to brag a little and show them how valuable you could be to their company.
- Be mindful of your posture: Crossing your arms or legs and slouching are going to send a bad message, maintaining a good posture will be crucial to making a good impression.
- Don’t start with the money: While it will likely come up during the interview, don’t mention it on your own until the middle or at the end. The interviewer might bring it up first as well.
After the Interview:
- Send a thank you note: Always send one after your interview. This is a huge must. Handwritten notes are ideal but email is more convenient these days. Make sure to reach out to every person that you spoke with and try to reference specific topics that you discussed during your meeting. Putting forth the extra effort shows your potential employer that you appreciate their time and that you are truly interested in the position. It also opens up a line of communication so you will stay fresh on their minds when making decisions.
- Avoid posting about it online: No matter how excited you are, sharing details of your interview online may reflect poorly on you should the interviewer find it when they are looking at your social media (this practice is growing every day, make sure what they find is a positive reflection of you).
- Keep looking around: Even if you just interviewed for your dream job, you should never sit and wait when there are other opportunities you could be pursuing as well. Interviewing at other places will give you experience with interviews as well as offer a chance to compare companies should you get multiple offers.
Commonly Asked Questions:
- “Tell us a bit about yourself.”: Try to keep this answer relatively short, but still give them a good idea of what your values and interests are. We suggest no more than 10 sentences (2 paragraphs).
- “Why are you here today?”: Be positive, talk about what you could bring to the company, not necessarily how the job would benefit you. For example: “I’m excited about the possibility of growing into a position and adding experience and perspective to it as the company grows.”
- “Do you have any questions for me?”: NEVER say you don’t, this can make you seem like you didn’t really care about the job. Asking if they have any other questions about your resume or what their biggest problem is at the time and how you could help solve it are great places to start.
- “What is your desired salary range?” If you are transitioning from one job to another, you don’t have to say exactly what you’re currently making. A safe way to discuss this would be something like: “In the past, made between $25,000 and $35,000. I’m looking for $45,000 to $50,000 to move”. Give them a higher range than what you actually want so when they negotiate you down, you end up where you actually wanted. If asked what salary you think you DESERVE, make sure you mention that you’re aware of the industry standard for the role (Salary.com, LinkedIn Salary and Glassdoor Market Calculators are great places to look) then build off of that and outline your skills that set you above the standard.