Getting the Job Part 3: The Interview

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So you’ve sent in your job application, printed off your resume, and now the employer would like for you to come in for an interview. Uh oh, how prepared are you? Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it.

Appropriate Attire:

As I’ve mentioned before, dress for the job you want, not the job you’re getting. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and you want to start this off right.

You’ll want to stick to conservative and neutral colors like browns and blacks. If you want to throw a little color in there, think about green, which is the color of money and can send a subconscious message that you’ll be able to bring real dollar value to the company. Stay away from bright primary colors like red and yellow because you want your interviewer focused on your words, not your outfit.-mashable.com

Here are a few guidelines:

1. Make sure your clothes are neatly ironed and pressed. Nothing gives away the lack of attention to detail than wrinkled clothing.

2. Make sure your clothing fits properly. If your pants or sleeves are too long or something is too loose or too tight you’ll look and probably feel awkward.

3. Don’t wear flashy jewelry. You’ll want the interviewer to pay attention to you, not your bling.

4. Dress according to the season. Don’t wear a stuffy turtleneck sweater in the middle of the summer.

5. Don’t wear perfume or aftershave. You never know if your interviewer is allergic and this isn’t a good way to find out.

6. Make sure you have a nice, clean haircut that makes you look well groomed.

7. For men, make sure you shave and keep facial hair to a minimum.

8. For women, don’t wear anything that is too revealing. It’s best to keep your body parts inside your clothing and not be too exposed.

9. Avoid articles of clothing with loud, busy prints. It’s best to wear solid colors that flatter your skin tone.

10. For women, make sure you wear appropriate lingerie and/or pantyhose underneath your clothing. This will give you smooth lines and assure you don’t have visible panty lines on your backside.

11. For women, don’t overdo your makeup. Wear natural colors and avoid heavy eye shadow, eyeliner and bright colored lipstick.

12. For pants outfits, make sure you wear a belt that matches the color of your shoes.

Research the Company:

Do extensive research on the company’s recent achievements, mission statement, policies, and values. Know who the major competitors are as well as who are the big names within the company you are interviewing for. This research will help you to tailor questions about the company later in the interview. Which brings me to my next point…

Ask Questions:

The interviewer will ask if you have any questions, and you better be prepared to ask away. Why ask questions in an interview? 1. You learn more about the company. 2. It shows you’re genuinely interested. 3. The interviewer will know you came prepared.

Great Questions to Ask:

  • What do you like best about working for the company?
  • How would you describe your company culture in five words?
  • What is the growth opportunity like for this position?
  • What are the qualities of your most successful employees?
  • What’s a common misconception about the company you would like to clear up?
  •  What about this company or your work keeps you up at night worrying and what can I do on the job to help you sleep soundly again?
  • What’s your management style?
  • What’s your biggest problem right now?
  • How did this position become open?
  • What difficulties do new employee face with your firm?
  • What are the key performance indicators for this position?
  • What’s next?
  • How do I contact you?
  • When do I start?

I talked to another manager last week and he said the funniest question he’d ever heard was: “When do I start?” The candidate ended up landing the job. But this manager stressed it wasn’t the question that got him the job but his experience and his real excitement and desire for the position.- excelle.monster.com

Questions to Avoid:

  • When can I get a promotion?
  • What is the salary?
  • When can I get a raise?
  • Are there flextime options?
  • Any questions that were answered during the interview, indicating you weren’t paying attention.

Have Good Eye Contact:

Make sure you look the interviewer in the eye, but don’t overdo it. Looking someone in the eyes when they are speaking to you is a sign of respect and a sign that you are paying attention.

Don’t forget that firm handshake:

Offer your hand even if the interviewer doesn’t offer his/hers. Shake hands with everyone if it is a panel interview and shake their hands again once the interview is over.

Be On Time:

Punctuality is vital. You don’t want to be late before you even get the job. This will seem unreliable like you don’t care about the position and will often be late to work.

Be Prepared:

Have your resume, cover letter, and references ready along with any other documents the potential employer has requested. Hand the resume to the interviewer in a way that it is already facing him/her. You also need to be prepared to answer questions, especially the tough ones.

Questions the Interviewer May Ask:

  • What is your biggest strength?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What interests you about this opening?
  • Do you work well under pressure?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • What are your long-term career goals and how are you preparing to achieve them?
  • Why did you choose (name of school)?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond to get a job done.
  • What was a major obstacle you had to overcome in the past year?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What work environment do you prefer?
  • What brings you here today?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
    • Answer this question honestly in a way that shows your weaknesses as strengths.

“I tend to be a perfectionist, so sometimes I have a hard time letting a project leave my hands until it’s absolutely finalized.” This answer addresses an area you need to improve, but explains it in a positive way.

What NOT to Talk About:

  • Your experience. Talking too much about your skills and experience makes you seem overconfident to say the least, arrogant at best. Instead of going on about your experience, tailor your responses to that particular job.
    • Make sure you’re including specific terms and skills that they’re mentioning, and be prepared to talk about how you’ve utilized those skills so they can immediately see how you can hit the ground running in that position.-marketwatch.com

  • The salary. You may seem more interested in the salary than the job at hand. Instead of asking about the salary, research it instead. Even if the salary is important to you, you won’t make any money if the interviewers are unimpressed, which they will be if you care more about the salary than the position. Besides, working is better if you’re happy with you job. Money can’t buy you happiness.

tumblr_lxtol4O1nc1qg7035o1_500Follow Up:

If you have not heard back from the interviewer after a week or two, feel free to follow up with a phone call or email. This is a great way to reinforce your interest in the position and ensure you stay fresh in the interviewer’s mind.

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About Sierra

I'm an accounting major at Texas State University with a passion for all things international. I'm going to learn Russian, Portuguese, Italian, and possibly German one day. I've been speaking Spanish for 8 years and my dream is to one day travel across Latin America. DREAM Act 2015!

Posted on March 5, 2013, in Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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