8 Tips to Nail a One on One Interview
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 in 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 One on One Interview.
It’s time to get yourself ready for the Superbowl of interviews. This will be the first time you’re walking into the building, up to the office and to meet your potential new employer. Let’s set you up for success!
- Review the company. If you haven’t yet, research the company. Now is the time to investigate with a fine tooth comb. Explore their website, social media pages and pop them into a Google search. Depending on the type of position you are applying for, you’ll want to learn as much as you can. If you are interviewing for a marketing/advertising position see how they interact in the social media world. If you are looking to be a part of their accounting department, then try to scoop up some numbers. What is their yearly revenue?
- Be a humble superstar. Just like in any other part of the interview process, get familiar with yourself and your skill set. 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. Now you’ll be ready to answer the dreaded question, “tell me about yourself” or “why do you believe you would be a good fit for the job?”
- 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. Questions can vary from ones framed to test your experience and skill set listed on your resume 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.
- Stay focused. Do not get sidetracked by extended answers. Try to keep your answers straightforward and easy to follow. If you are asked something and don’t understand what they are trying to say, ask them politely if they can rephrase the question.
- Interview them. Know that as much as they are interviewing you for the position, you are interviewing them as well. Now is the time to come up with a dozen questions including asking the interviewer why they enjoy working at the organization, what they find the most challenging aspects of the company or what they believe was the most difficult situation the last individual in the role you are applying for faced. Remember, You don’t have to take every job you are offered. If this particular position doesn’t align with your goals or priorities, that’s okay. But don’t make this known during the interview. You don’t want to squash an opportunity before they even offer it to you.
- Pretend it’s your first day. Don’t pull your hair out figuring out what to wear or how to act. It’s easy. Imagine that you are heading to your first day of work and they want you to be your superstar self. Check out our Interview and Work Attire Guide. If you’re not sure what type of attire is worn at the company you might want to look at their Facebook page and see if they have any pictures of their employees. Find a balance between modesty and the newest trend (unless of course you are applying for a job at a synagogue or a fashion magazine). All is relative, so once again, do your research!
- 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 your questions. Do not walk in empty handed. This does not mean you should bring a physical gift, rather bring the gift of knowledge of how you can be an asset to the team.
- Follow up. When will they get back to you? Will they contact you or should you give them a call? Either way, within the next couple of days shoot them a handwritten thank you or email. Let them know that you are still very much interested in the job, that you enjoyed your time at the company and hope to hear from them soon. If you hit it off with the interviewer you can even reference something you chatted about. For example “I hope you’ll be able to catch the Patriot’s game this Sunday. I know you mentioned watching the game is your favorite part of the weekend.” Of course, if it doesn’t feel genuine or authentic, don’t say it. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
You may leave knowing this is the place for you. If that’s the case, fantastic! But don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Continue with your job search because you never know what could happen.