So, you got the phone call you have been waiting for and the voice on the other end says those words you are longing to hear, “We are very impressed with your resume and would like to meet with you to further discuss X position”. You are in a state of euphoria as you schedule the appointment and thank the person for the opportunity. You get off the phone and think “Now what”.
Here are some next steps to help you nail that interview of a lifetime. Interviewing can be daunting so let’s divide the experience into four buckets — the four R’s of interviewing:
Ø Revive Your Personal Presentation.
Ø Relevant Questions.
It is a very important to do your research on the organization you will be interviewing. Current data says that less than 10% of candidates take time to do this, so this is a great way for you to stand out.
Start by reviewing the organization’s web site, brochures and annual reports. Talk to current or past employees to gain an understanding of the business, its services and its competitors. Do your homework so you can be in a knowledgeable position. Otherwise, the interview could be a truly uncomfortable experience; you run the risk of not understanding what the interviewer is talking about, possibly asking unintelligent questions.
Other ways to prepare for the interview is to sit down and think about what is going to be asked in that interview. If you know someone within the organization, make inquiries as this can yield pertinent information.
You can often anticipate the kinds of questions you’ll be asked during interviews, particularly if you have done your due diligence. Once you have determined the probable questions, develop responses that showcase your personal best. Answers should be results orientated. Show how you have made an impact in your present position and how you are going to be a resource for your new employer. Practice, practice, practice. Develop and define your answers and do not forget to tell them how good you are as you are your best advocate. It is a great idea to rehearse in front of someone or in front of the mirror.
Revive Your Personal Presentation
You have only 10 seconds to make a first impression so dressing appropriately is very important. Candidates have been known to show up without wearing a jacket when a suit would be more appropriate. Sometimes the suit is wrinkled or ill tailored. You need to make sure your attire is corporate savvy, well-groomed and polished.
Remember the basics — like a solid handshake, a calm demeanor, warm smile— because they don’t see the real you if you’re uptight. And basic eye contact; a lot of people put a lot of weight into eye contact. Maintaining that is really important.
Prepare a list of tough questions in your preparation for the close of the interview. Employers love it when someone asks really difficult questions. Asking well-thought-out questions shows that you know the business and are familiar with the company to some extent. It all goes back to preparation, and it tells the interviewer you thought about this interview before you walked in the door.
To further your interviewing techniques you may want to refer to the ACS Careers Advice and Publications section of the ACS website at: www.acs.org/careers.
This article was written by Liane H. Gould, Manager of Career Services of the ACS Department of Career Management and Development.