As a manager I have interviewed many people in my day. There are specific tips for interviewing well, but before we get there, you have to do your part to GET the interview.
Obviously your resume should be well written sans typos but beyond that it needs to be qualitative and show as much of your successes as your skills. Employers are looking for someone who doesn’t just know how to do the job, but someone who gets results. Aim to keep it at one page because the likelihood of someone keeping the pages together is slim to none and slim just got hit by a car.
The COVER LETTER:
1. Address it to an actual person whose name is spelled correctly. Include the person’s correct, official title.
2. Tell the person what your objective is and WHY you want to work THERE. Compliments are welcome. Research the company and perhaps touch upon how great you thought a recent success of theirs was. Tell them how you could add value. Show genuine interest and knowledge.
3. Keep it short and sweet. People lose interest quickly. I mean now anything past 140 characters seems long (I am still surprised anyone reads these posts…)
4. SIGN IT. I know this sounds silly and obvious but an unsigned cover letter goes in the circular file. You know the one. It also stores half-eaten lunch. (Scan it in if you are emailing).
Ok, so you do all the above and actually get called in for the INTERVIEW.
1. Think about WHERE you are interviewing and what the people who work there might be dressed like. Long gone are the days of the mandatory interview suit. You want to work there right? So wouldn’t it make sense that employers would want to be able to VISUALIZE you being part of the team?
2. Bring extra copies of your resume well printed on quality paper. If you don’t have a good printer find one. Think of your resume as your PERSONAL ADVERTISEMENT. The words alone are not the only thing employers are judging. Presentation is key.
3. If you have examples of your work, bring them too. Anything that can help show an employer what you are able to do is helpful and can also set you apart from other candidates.
4. Prepare in advance. I cannot stress this enough. There is no excuse for not knowing everything you can about a company.
5. Come with questions written down (or in your head). At the end of every interview there is that awkward lull where inevitably the interviewer asks “so do you have any questions?”. Here’s your cue…ask away.
*Note: Do not ask “is there room for growth?” Employers want to be sure you want the actual position you are interviewing for. Roaming eyes need not apply. If you deserve growth once you work there, growth will come.
6. Be ready with a list of references. Note: you must ask said reference if it’s ok for you to list them as a reference. It’s not a given and do not assume everyone will say yes.
7. Practice confidence not cockiness.
8. Don’t be “too” comfortable. I know this is a little bit of an ego thing, but interviewers are in the power seat. Let them have it.
9. Don’t be nervous. I believe whole-heartedly in ”fake it til you make it”. It works well here.
10. Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn in a humble way. You do need to explain how you could add value. But as important, make them understand why you would kill to work there.
11. Thank them. This where some may disagree, but I believe in the day-of thank you email AND a mailed handwritten note. Either way, silence kills.
12. Do follow-up. Oftentimes the need to fill said position is not as “urgent” as you would like to fill said position. If you don’t hear from someone in a week or so, check in via EMAIL. If you don’t hear back, do not attempt contact again. He or she is just not that into you. Just like dating, if they want you, they will call.