Job interview coming up? Take the time to prepare, because preparation is one of the most important aspects of the interview process and taking the time to do it right could make all the difference in landing a job offer.
Start by researching the organization and position you're interviewing for and crafting appropriate questions about the company and position so that when it comes time to sit down and meet with HR or the hiring manager, you're ready to go.
Recruiters are impressed when a candidate comes prepared to the interview with not only knowledge of the company and position, but also when they have prepared specific questions in advance. The majority of hiring managers state that it is impressive when candidates take notes and/or write down questions that arise throughout the conversation. This process can also help the candidate when they compare several jobs to one another to decide which one would be the best fit for them. Interviews are a two-way street. Not only is the interviewer interested in understanding the candidate, but the candidate should also be equally interested in gaining information about the company.
The first three minutes of an interview are very critical. First impressions are the lasting impressions. Dressing for an interview should always involve business professional attire including suits, dress pants, and ties (for men). All clothing should be pressed and put together neatly. Below are several common mistakes to avoid when interviewing:
- Chewing gum.
- Physical habits such as tapping fingers or clicking pens, bouncing legs, or shuffling feet.
- Messy or unclean hair.
- Negative body odors, smelling of smoke, or strong cologne/perfume.
- Visible tattoos.
- Torn or patched clothing.
- Unusual hair, such as lettering cut into it, spikes, bleached, or odd colors.
- Too much jewelry or jewelry attached to odd places visible on the body (such as nose piercing).
- Worn or unpolished shoes; gym shoes.
Once the interview has begun, remember that many recruiters use a behavioral interview process. During this process, questions centered around certain situations in order to better understand how a candidate would act. The best way to answer these types of questions is to use the “PAR for the Course” method. PAR stands for problem, action, and result. A complete answer should contain the task or problem, the specific action taken, and the results of the actions. Once the question has been answered it's important to stop talking. Many recruiters will leave long pauses or remain silent for a moment to see how the candidate will react. Remember to remain confident in your answers.
The overall goal of the interview process is to show the company that you are not only the right candidate for the job, but the best candidate. Show HR you're the right person by creating the best resume, dressing for the job, researching the role, answering questions appropriately and being your true self throughout the whole process. The candidate who is not only qualified for the job but also genuine, interested, and prepared will set themselves apart from the rest. A little bit of preparation and thought can and will go a long way.
This article first appeared in the Kuder Blog April 14, 2014.
- human resources