Acing the Interview
First impressions matter. The interview is likely your first contact with a prospective employer, so make it count. Here are a few best practices for getting the most out of your conversation:
- Research the organization with which you are interviewing, as well as any people with whom you’ll speak. Look at recent press releases, website announcements, LinkedIn posts, and media coverage.
- Re-read the position description and have several examples ready of how you’ve handled similar responsibilities in your previous roles.
- Prepare at least three questions for your interviewers to demonstrate your familiarity with the organization and position.
- Identify key industry trends in the news that may be relevant to the job.
- Take advantage of being able to use notes and prompts, such as keeping your resume in front of you, outlining your accomplishments and jotting down questions to ask the interviewer.
- Avoid multitasking during the call.
- If you think best on your feet, stand for the conversation.
- Try to use a landline if possible and take the call in a quiet place where interruptions are unlikely; make sure your ringer is turned on.
- Smile when you speak. It helps you sound interested and engaged.
- For video conferences, make sure that your camera is set up properly, check the lighting and sound beforehand, and wear professional attire; remove any clutter or distracting items noticeable in the screen.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early, and be polite to everyone you meet.
- Wear a suit or professional business attire.
- Bring extra copies of your resume and the position description for reference.
- Maintain good eye contact with the interviewer and stay engaged through the conversation.
- Turn off your mobile phone or smart watch to avoid any distractions.
- Reference any relevant information that you found in your research of the firm; provide compliments regarding the firm’s achievements when possible.
- Ask for a business card so that you can follow up with a thank you note; remember to follow up with a thank you email within 48 hours, including something specific you discussed during the interview or any additional questions you may have.
- Use a professionally formatted email address, such as your first and last name.
- Use size 10-12 font.
- Be sure to customize your resume for the specific industry and position for which you are applying. Referring to the job description is a good way to ensure you cover all relevant points.
- Avoid using first-person language such as “I”, “me”, or “my.”
- Clearly identify your achievements in each of your past experiences.
- Keep the content to less than two pages.
- Make sure that your phone mailbox is set up and that you have a professional voicemail message in case you miss calls from the employer or your recruiter.
- Update your LinkedIn Page with any relevant content and make sure that you have a photograph- this does not need to be a professional headshot, but a plain backdrop is helpful.
- Check your email and voicemail regularly throughout the day so that you can respond in a timely manner.