Okay, the big day has finally arrived! Hopefully you have followed all of our advice on what to do to prepare for your interview. You arrived 15 minutes early, well groomed, you have studied up on the company and you have gone over questions in your head... Now what?
Lets go over my 7 Commandments of Interviewing... Why 7, and not 10, you ask? Because is it that simple! you do not even need to know 10 rules for it!
1) Greet Prospective with a Handshake.
You want to appear confident and friendly starting with the first few seconds (when most impressions are formed). So, when you see the employer, do not be hesitant to go stand up and greet them with a sincere smile and a good handshake.
2) Make Eye Contact.
Again, confidence is KEY! when answering questions, look the interviewer(s) straight in the eye. Looking up, down, or around the room will give the impression that you are insecure, shy, uncomfortable, or making up answers.
3) Listen Carefully
Listening skills are important in any position. This includes everything from top level CEO positions, all the way down to the basement janitor. Everyone in any given organization needs to have great listening skills, and this is your first (and possibly your only) chance to prove yourself. You do not want to find yourself answering a question you think you heard.
4) Be Direct
If you do not know an answer, do not make up an answer. If you know an answer, be straightforward and to the point. Do not beat around the bush. Employers are smart. they will know when you are trying to cover up for your lack of knowledge, so don't even try.
5) Be Positive
You should never say anything negative in an interview. When asked about prior jobs (and trust me, you will be), you should have well thought out reasons why you left. Avoid sounding overly needy, disgruntled, picky, selfish, or pessimistic at any cost!
6) Ask Questions
At the end of almost every interview I have been in, I am asked, "Do you have any questions for us?" Even if it is a small question that you really don't care about, ask it! Asking questions shows that you care, and an employer wants an employee who cares about their job and workplace.
7) Thank Them
When the interview is over, thank your future employer. Leave with a confident smile, a handshake, and your head held high. Most of what is remembered of an interaction is in the beginning and the end, so be sure and leave them smiling.
And that is it!
Now, you get home, and you are wondering what comes next. Right?
Well... I'll tell you!
Write a thank you note the same day of the interview, and mail it no later than the following morning.
A thank you letter should be a very brief final statement. This may be your chance to tie up any loose ends or emphasize any key points from the interview, but remember to keep it simple and to the point. Here are some great links that can basically write the letter for you:
If you do not hear back from the employer in a few days, do not be afraid to call/stop by. Many times, this will be how you set yourself apart from others. Following up in person shows that you are driven and that you really want this job. For me personally, the way that I got my current job was by following up several times with my employer. Every time i would call back to "check in" they would set up another interview, and eventually, I was on board!
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this blog, I hope you found it informative! Now get off the computer and go get yourself a job!