During my early days of job searching, I would send out or drop off my resume and wait for someone to call me to interview. I never prepared for an interview. I have no idea what those interviews were like or why I was selected, especially when I had little or no experience in the fields I chose.
Today is a brand new day. Preparation is on the upswing of interviewing. I have listed six suggestions which won’t guarantee you the job but can put you ahead of the talent once you have been invited to interview.
1. Research the company. Today, most companies have a company website on the internet with information about their organization (i.e. company history, products or services which the company provides, etc.). A brief review of the company is all that is needed. Know what the company sells. If there is more than one location know how many and if possible know where some of them are. The more you can remember the better but there is no need for an extensive search. Something to say you were interested enough to learn about the organization.
2. Join an association in your field. You can’t go wrong by joining an association in the field which you are in. Check out their forum. It can be a wealth of recent information about the industry. This can help you to be more comfortable talking about the industry and showing your industry knowledge. For example, I recently went on an interview. I just happened to join one of the largest industry associations and attended a meeting of legal updates not knowing that I would be asked about the updates. In the interview, I was asked about a couple of specific updates. I am sure, by the look on the managers’ face, she was very surprised that I knew about the updates and had some input. This had never happened to me in an interview.
3. Study interview questions. I cannot impress upon you how helpful this will be. There are interview questions and answers (or how best to answer a question) on the internet that touches upon all kinds of industries. Some questions are generic regardless of the industry Be and you will still need to have a good response to those questions as well. All I can say is practice your responses so you know your answers, and so they will flow naturally.
4. Always check Linkedin to check out the profiles of those who will be interviewing you. More people have profiles on Linkedin. If the profile does not exist dig a little to see if there is anything you can find on the net about the person(s) or ask people in your network if there is anyone who can give you a little information about the person(s) who will be interviewing you.
5. Be Genuine and personable. Your first contact in an organization is generally the receptionist. Believe me, regardless of what your impression of the receptionist is, you want to become her/his friend by becoming personable without overdoing it. This person may have more input in the selection. You do not want to cross him or her. Since I believe in being kind to all that I meet, interviewing is no different. I know this from experience. If the decision is tough and the hiring manager solicits the input of the receptionist it will make a difference.
6. Remain calm, and be confident, not arrogant. This is the time to shine and be confident in your knowledge and expertise, your skills, and why you are no longer in the organization or is leaving the company. Telling your potential employer that you are desperate or really need this job is not a good idea.