by Thomas Moran, CEO of Addison Group
There’s no denying that interviews are stressful, intimidating and can most likely make or break chances at landing a prospective position.
The main goal of an interview is to receive an offer, but getting to that point takes skill and knowledge. There are a lot of things to consider and prepare for before an interview, but with a little practice and training, anyone can go into an interview and leave the best impression possible.
Below are my tips for perfect interviews:
1. Arrive Early.
One of the easiest ways to make a good impression is to be on time. Be aware of the interviewer’s schedule though and do not arrive more than 10-15 minutes early.
2. Make a Lasting Impression.
The receptionist is the first person an interviewee faces, and they are often asked about the politeness and professionalism of the interviewee. Be presentable and positive from the moment you walk into the office, not just with the interviewer. In addition, remember to maintain eye contact and smile throughout the entire interview.
Along with eye contact, body language is very important. Refrain from fidgeting as it often comes across as nervous and don’t cross your arms as it can make the interviewee look closed off.
3. Know the Company.
Research the goals of the company, its current situation, history and recent events or changes. Check their social media presence and do a Google search to see if the company or any spokespeople have been in the news recently.
Going into an interview unaware of the companies past and future goals can be a turn off to the interviewer, while being knowledgeable of the company shows genuine interest in the position and company.
4. Understand the Position.
In addition to researching the company, understand what the position requires, any duties, responsibilities and expectations. Ask pertinent questions, like who the supervisor is, how and why people have failed in the past and goals for the first six months or year.
5. Be Specific.
Limit yourself from answering questions with a simple “yes” or “no.” Be specific and use examples that show accomplishments, strengths and how you’ve personally helped improve previous companies.
6. Be Positive.
One mistake interviewees make is speaking negatively of current or former employers. If the interviewer asks what you liked the least about a previous company, try to stay as positive as possible and explain how you benefited from the experience.
Prepare standard interview questions beforehand so an answer is readily available. The more preparation the less likely the interviewee will be scrambling for answers during the interview. Speak slowly, clearly and with conviction.
Having a few go-to answers on the top of your mind before an interview is always helpful, and it’s important to remember to think before you speak.
8. Say Thanks.
Following up should always be a priority after an interview and sending a thank you note is a great way to express interest and thank the interviewer for their time.
While hard copy thank you notes are still often encouraged, in today’s technologically advanced world it’s acceptable to send an email as it is a faster and more direct method.
Thomas Moran is the CEO of Chicago-based staffing firm Addison Group. Addison combines a national network and localized service for broad reach with a personal touch. Specialized practices deliver the right candidate at the right time in Administration, Engineering, Finance & Accounting, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Information Technology.