After you have decided what you want to do and have applied for a job where you want to work, getting an interview for your chosen job and leaving a good impression are the next parts of finding a job.
If you haven’t gotten to this stage in your job hunt yet, click on this link to go to Part 1 of this post. In it, how to determine what you want to do, how to find the job, and how to apply for it are discussed. Check it out!
An interview is a meeting between you and the company’s rep to see if you and the company are a good fit for each other.
8 things to do before a job interview
When you’re planning for the interview, there are eight things I should do.
1) Research the company you’re interviewing with; if you haven’t already. Look at their website. I always read the history, products, mission statement, and employee culture;
2) Practice possible interview questions and have answers. Robin Ryan is a Job Search guru I have been following for years. She has written books and articles; also owns her own Career Counseling business.
She wrote a post about the top tough interview questions and answers to those questions. Click here to go to that post.
One thing to watch out for is sounding rehearsed or fake. True, you do want to sound prepared but not fake. I usually will practice what I’m going to say a few times (just to make sure it sounds right) and then move to the next question.
3) Think of questions you’d like to ask. These can come from researching the company and reading the job post. Or just out of curiosity.
4) Check the route you will take to get to the interview (you want to get there at least five minutes before the interview). I usually will look it up using GPS to get an idea of how long it will take to get there.
Also, I will ride out to the location so that on the day of the interview I know where I’m going (this is a holdover from the days before GPS!).
5) Choose what you are going to wear.
The idea of what to wear to an interview came from a restaurant franchise district manager I know. I’ll call him Chuck. He does a lot of hiring of the management and crew for the restaurants he oversees.
To him, a neat appearance is key. Hair is styled in a flattering way. Nails are clean and clipped. Beards are trimmed and neat.
When it comes to clothes, a clean button-down shirt, khakis or dress pants, and decent-looking shoes for guys. Since I’m not a lover of dresses, I always wear a blouse and dress pants. I always make sure the dress shoes work with the outfit. I have worn a pair of black pumps to an interview a couple of times.
The same works for women; also dresses and skirts are acceptable. However, if you do wear a dress or skirt, please wear pantyhose and dress shoes. Remember you want to look put together.
My friend, Chuck, also had a few don’ts for anyone showing up for an interview. No shorts, no jeans, and no T-shirts with big logos or large writing. He is not the only one who feels this way.
There are countless stories among management folk and on the internet about clothes that shouldn’t be worn to a job interview.
6) One thing you should always do is check out your hygiene. If you haven’t showered or bathed in a while, please do it for this. Though you may like your brand of musk, that doesn’t mean everyone else does.
7) Have an extra copy of your resume (just in case the interviewer needs a copy). It can happen. I have had to give an interviewer a copy of my resume. He didn’t have one. I was surprised. So make sure you have one.
8) The night before, make sure you get a good night’s sleep.
At the job interview
First of all, be polite. You may have to check in at the front desk. Let them know who you’re here to meet with and your name.
Secret fact: In some companies, the receptionist or the people you meet before you meet the interviewer have a say in whether you’re hired or not. Afterward, the interviewer will ask that person’s opinion of you. This is a true thing. I’ve been that person who was asked what I thought of a possible new hire.
If you have to wait, take a few deep breaths. If you’re nervous, that’s okay and expected.
The interview is like a question-and-answer session with some small talk thrown in. Always give the interviewer your attention and make eye contact as you answer questions. It’s okay to look away every so often. You don’t want to stare but do look the person in the eye.
Here too, it’s okay to be a little nervous. There should be a part during the meeting when you’re asked if you have any questions. Here’s your chance to ask those questions you planned or get more information about something you’ll discuss. If that doesn’t come up, it’s okay to ask it. I’ve done it at the end of the meeting right before we end the interview.
If pay has not been brought up, don’t bring it up. Leave that question for when they offer you the job. According to the Staffing Services leader, Robert Half International, the earliest time that pay should be brought up. Before then, just get to know each other.
After the job interview
Before you leave, make sure you remember the name of your interviewer, because you should write him or her a Thank You note. Thank them for meeting with you and again express your interest in the position. There! You have done it!
Now you wait to hear from the company. Usually, the rep will tell you when you should hear from them. If you don’t, it’s a good idea you didn’t get the job.
Finding a job is a task that can be easy for some and a little harder for others. One fact that is true for both is it takes work.
If you know what you want to do, where and how to apply for a position, and wow the company during the interview, you have a chance of landing the job you want.
If you have tips or stories about your job search, please put them in the comment section below. They could be a help to others.