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When you have a job interview coming up, it’s important to ready yourself to the best of your ability. Showing up with your resume in hand is one portion of primping process, but there are so many other things to take into consideration. Depending on the type of interview you are having, which you can review in 6 Types of Interviews, you will want to make sure you are focused, prepared and confident. Let’s get you ready to show your potential new employee just how professional and great of a fit you are!
Be prepared. The Group Interview.
Walking into a room with a handful of other candidates can be daunting, but don’t fret. Learn to set yourself apart from the others and be remembered. With only about 30 minutes, time is of the essence.
Research the company. Google is your friend here. Type in the company’s name, look at news and articles and review their mission statement. Don’t forget about LinkedIn. Most companies are listed there and share information such as company size and updates. You can also used LinkedIn to see if you have any professional mutual connections. Without being stalky, it may also be helpful to search the interviewer on Facebook to see if you have any friends in common - you never know! Do not snoop on their social media, rather a quick reference to your mutual friends and move on.
Be a humble superstar. Just like in any other part of the interview process, get familiar with yourself and your skillset. Grab a notebook or a few pieces of lined paper and get ready to get personal. With yourself. Print your resume and the job description and sit down with a pen and paper and start comparing your experience to the job description. What personal qualities do you have that are fitting for the position? How are your goals in line with the mission of the company? What experience do you have that makes you the perfect fit for the company? You can’t prepare too much for this part. The better you get to know yourself, the more confident you will be when asked specific questions about you. Get ready to talk about yourself - not in a over-confident, cocky way, but you also don’t want to be shy or reluctant.
The Behavioral Interview. You will almost definitely be asked the type of questions that give the interviewer an idea of how well you’ll fit into the organization compared to your peers sitting next to you. Questions can vary from ones framed to test your experience and skillset required by the job to common situations that occur on a daily basis in the office. An example would be “tell us about a time when you were in a conflict with a colleague and how you handled it.” It’s hard to prepare for these types of behavioral interviews because you never can know what they will ask you. So, give your past experiences some thought and keep in mind the different jobs you’ve had. There is most likely an example hidden away for every instance they ask you, you will just need to access them.
Come prepared with backup. Have several copies of your resume to hand out, your notes about yourself (for you) and a pen and paper to write down their answers to any questions.
Engage with the other candidates. One major thing the interviewer is observing is how you engage with the other applicants. Are you an outgoing conversation starter? Do you let others lead the dialogue and chime in when you feel it’s necessary? Be your authentic self. No one is asking for you to be any certain way, but your potential employer is taking all of these interactions into consideration. Imagine these people are already your coworkers and you are all on the same journey together. If anything, you may walk out with a new buddy.
Stay focused. It’s easy to get distracted by an attractive candidate or annoying response, but try to concentrate and pay attention. Put your cell phone on silent and out of sight.
Wear appropriate clothing. Are you applying to be a barista, retail professional or an accountant at a firm? What would you wear on your first day of work? Picture yourself walking in on your first day and fitting in. How would you look? What would you wear?
Follow up. After the interview, walk up to the interviewer, remind them who you are and that you really enjoyed their presentation and the interview. They most likely already told the group how they will be following up, so don’t ask again. Just a quick thank you, handshake and be on your merry way.
You can stand out from the crowd. You are among the best of the best, but that doesn’t mean you will be unseen. Let your personality shine and stay humble.