By: Dan Hemenway
Okay so you got the interview for the big job you’ve been wanting, but what’s next? Before you step into the office you need to be prepared. Here are five tips to help you impress your interviewer(s) and stand out.
1. Arrive Early
As the saying goes, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” This, of course, should go without saying, but punctuality is huge. In some cases, it can make or break your chances with a company. Carving out the time to arrive 10-15 minutes early will not only allow you to observe the office, but it will also give you time to mentally prepare yourself and relax.
2. Know Your Stuff
“So what do you know about us?” Nailing this or any other questions related to the company that you are interviewing for can show that you did your research. Looking into a company’s clients, core values, culture or essentially anything that pertains to the company can give you a better understanding of how they operate. Being able to relate your answers to different assets of the company can help the interviewer envision you in the position.
Another way to better connect with the interviewer is to do research on them. If you know who will be interviewing you, even if it’s a group of people, look them up. You can find out a good amount about a person by simply looking through their LinkedIn profiles. Making a personal connection right away with them can help break the tension and start the interview off on the right foot.
Look over common interview questions and have answers prepared for them. You can also look on sites such as Glassdoor to see if previous interviewees have posted questions that they were asked. After looking at questions, come up with specific examples that you can use to show your experience. A simple way of doing this is by looking at both the job requirements, as well as the values of the company, and connecting them with your past experience. When you are asked behavioral questions, try using the STAR method. Using this method to answer these types questions allows you to paint a picture of the situation for the interviewer.
4. Have Questions Prepared
A rule of thumb is to typically have at least three questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Here are a few of my favorite questions and you can also find more here.
What differentiates someone who is really good in this position and someone who is great?
If you have any hesitations, what can I clarify about my qualifications?
What do you love most about the culture here?
5. Follow Up
Sending a follow-up email can help you stand out and keep you fresh in the company’s mind. You should send a follow up no later than 24 hours after the interview. In the follow-up, you should thank the interviewer for their time, include some interesting topics that stood out to you in the interview, as well as your contact information. You can also use this to expand a little more on your qualifications or ask questions you may have come up with after the interview. Here are some other tips on how to write a better follow up email.
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