You’ve fired off that last resume when…EUREKA! The HR gods have scheduled an impromptu interview.
Here is one of my favorite interview secrets. Think potential mate (when preparing for a job interview)…like you are preparing for a blind date.
These 8 job interview tips will turn you from potential interview victim to job search victor!
Job Interview Tip #1 -Use blind date research tactics to investigate the company
When a woman goes on a blind date, she rarely accepts the offer without asking her girlfriends a few questions. Is he short, handsome, successful, rich, fat, a mama’s boy, bald, broke or crazy? I want the truth!
It amazes me how often people are so excited to accept an interview, but rarely ask any pre-qualifying questions. For example: “How long has the position been available? How soon are you looking to fill this position? What is your ideal candidate?” Let the hiring manager discuss their ideal person for the job, first. The job interview is the ultimate blind date; performing a pre-interview is essential to your success.
Job Interview Tip #2 – Arrive 15 minutes early
Nothing upsets a potential boss more than a job applicant who is not punctual. Want to get the interviewer in a serious bad mood? Arrive super late to the meeting with a meaningless excuse. No one cares that there’s no parking in front of the building. Get ready to be labeled as a job interview disaster because of your tardiness.
Psychologically it is to your advantage to arrive to the meeting early. You’ll have time to focus all your energy on this positive interaction. Relax, take in some deep breaths and imagine a successful interview.
Job Interview Tip #3 – Peruse the workplace habitat for your ideal environment match
Observe the work environment before your meeting. Are your potential colleagues pleasant? Is the office tidy or unkempt? Is the receptionist rude? Do you see yourself working with the people that breeze by the waiting area?
You will be spending 10 hours per day in this office. If the people, office décor and mentality don’t mirror your personal aesthetic, values or lifestyle, find another position. Regardless of the 6-figure salary and the espresso machine…this job is not the perfect match. Move on. There will be other positions.
Job Interview Tip #4- Bring visual aids and dress appropriately
Your resume has bounced around from the recruiter to the hiring manager to the administrative assistant. Don’t assume that the interviewer has a copy. There’s a big chance that it’s gotten lost in the paper shuffle.
Bring two crisp and clean copies of both your resume and cover letter. Refer to these documents during your opening question and throughout the job interview. Use the bullet points on your resume as talking points to sell your skills. The interviewer will see that you are prepared and professional.
Job Interview Tip #5 –Dress to impress
If you’ve researched the company thoroughly you will know what to wear to fit in. Most people make a 5 second decision about your abilities before you answer one question. Your clothes, hairstyle, accessories and posture say more about you than a resume ever will.
The job interview is the only chance you have to sell yourself in person. You only have one chance to make a first impression, don’t blow it with the wrong outfit.
Job Interview Tip #6 – Ask 5 tough questions to determine personality match
You know at the end of the interview when the manager asks you with a smirk, “Do you have any questions?” Challenge your potential employer with these jewels of enlightenment and wait for their response.
- What is your 5 year vision for this department?
- How do you motivate and encourage your employees without compensation?
- Describe the ideal working relationship between you and the person you hire?
- What extra tasks and responsibilities are expected of this position? (Ask about the pertinent tasks not included in the job description)
- Why did the last person leave the position?
You have the right to ask as many questions to determine if the company or the manager will support your skill and financial needs. This manager must relate to your skills and personality…immediately and enthusiastically.
If you don’t feel the chemistry between you and your boss within 5 minutes; prepare to find another position. In my experience most people leave a position because of management, not salary.
Job Interview Tip #7 Kill the Negative Nelly within
The work environment is toxic enough. Who wants to add another negative person into the office mix? Be positive and excited about a new opportunity.
Interviewing is a very stressful process for all parties involved. Soothe the growing pains of your potential employer with a sunny disposition. Both negative and positive energy are contagious. Start the job interview fresh with optimistic talk followed by upbeat action.
Job Interview Tip #8 – Show enthusiasm; but don’t beg for the position
When the interviewer asks you to tell you a little about yourself, talk about how your particular experience is a match for the company. Don’t talk about your masters in criminal justice unless it applies to the position. If you’ve followed tip #1 hand you’ve researched the interviewer and their experience.
- Ask your future boss about their vision for their position.
- Tailor your responses to their expectations.
- Be a good listener.
Respond to their questions based upon your knowledge of the company and your work history. If you want the position tell the interviewer at the end of the interview.
Give a 30 second recap of your skills and interest in working with the company. The next day send a hand written thank you note to close the deal.
A woman would NEVER accept a blind date without doing a little love reconnaissance. Treat your job interview with the same care and consideration that you would you love life.
Instead of a little smooch at the end of the date from Prince Charming, you can expect an amazing interview and even a job offer from a potential boss if you’ve followed these 8 tips to job interview success.