Knowledge is power in any communication. With today’s technology and available information, research the company via google, hoover’s, LinkedIN, Glassdoor, etc. Review the hiring manager’s LinkedIN profile before the interview. Knowing where your interviewer went to school and where they’ve worked is an easy way to impress! But, most importantly, understand the company’s vision. By understanding the hiring manager’s career progression and the company’s direction, you might be able to better understand how your own career might advance should you join this company.
Anticipate the questions a hiring manager might ask you about your background, your knowledge of the company and about the role. By taking what you have learned in your research, along with your experience and instincts, craft your answers carefully so you can deliver them confidently. Be sure to share how you plan to deliver results in the role.
Dress for success that best fits the organization in which you are interviewing. When in doubt, dress more professionally to stand out appropriately. An example for male candidates: if you believe an organization is business casual, you might want to add a blazer to your dress shirt and slacks. Female candidates should consider business attire and dressing conservatively.
If interviewing in an unfamiliar location, consider traveling to your interview location the day before to make sure you don’t get lost. Build in an additional 30-60 minutes for travel in case there’s traffic or to get through building security. Review your research notes in your vehicle or lobby waiting area before you go in for your interview. This is a great time to relax and find your inner calm before meeting your interviewer.
Show a hiring manager that you will seek to understand before you seek to be understood. You can do this by allowing the hiring manager to finish their question before responding. Show your poise and professionalism by caring about what they have to say. Best put, listen to understand, and don’t listen to respond!
Deliver thoughtful, intelligent answers that will impress but don’t embellish. Ask your prepared questions about the company and how the role fits into the structure and helps deliver value and/or generate revenue. To efficiently get the hiring criteria, don’t be afraid to ask the hiring manager, “What are the most important candidate characteristics you are looking for in this role?” Then do your level best to highlight what you can do to deliver on their hiring criteria. As the interview is ending, you should ask, “Is there anything else I can share about my education and experience to review how I fit with this role?” If the interviewer asks, go for connecting your answer to the needs of the company. If they say “no”, use the moment to capitalize on briefly reiterating how your background aligns with the needs of the company. If you have not already received a business card from your interviewer(s), be sure to ask for one or the best place/person to communicate any follow ups.
Be sure to show your appreciation for the time the hiring manager has invested in interviewing you. It helps to show your enthusiasm for the role throughout the interview, but especially in your thank you communication. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” The same holds true to winning a new job in an interview process. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 90% of employers agree that an emailed thank you is acceptable. It is up to you on whether email or a hand-written note is best based on what you have seen or experienced with the company. Either way you go, if there are multiple interviewers, be sure to send a unique individualized message to each one.
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