Saturday, July 27, 2013

5 Tips for a successful Interview

Everyone gets a little nervous before a big job interview. You spend hours upon hours applying for jobs that you think you will excel at, only to hear radio silence on the end of the company. Then it happens, you get a phone call. They want to meet you and discuss your resume and the position in detail. SCORE! Don't be caught unprepared before an interview. Here are a few tips to help you succeed!

Know the company. Research them! You can often times find interview questions and processes on as well. You would be suprised what you can learn from a short internet session. Glassdoor even has a section that allows you to get salary information and projections. also has an excellent review section from real (keep in mind, sometimes they are disgruntled) employees.

Dress for success (and the job you're applying for). Don't wear a 3 piece suit to interview for McDonald's, instead, opt for a nice pair of kahkis and a polo. If you're a girl, a modest sundress or dress pants set will do the job. Let your personality shine through your clothing. Don't apply for a fashion consultant or trendy retail job without looking the part when you walk in. One giant misconception is that you need to be a cookie cutter "dress for success" example when you walk into the interview doors, but fashion is an excellent way to express who you are before you even open your mouth. This can also be a curse, so use common sense!

Show emotion. Smile, laugh, and partake in active conversation at your interview. Allow the interviewer to guide the conversation, but don't let your nerves or shy nature take away from them seeing you for who you are. If it comes down to two people with the same exact skill set and expertise, they will always choose the one who will mesh the best with the team. Be that guy!

Know your strengths... and weaknesses. Be honest about them. When you know the company (tip #1) you also learn what they expect and need as a part of their team. Know what skills you possess that make you a great asset. On the same dime, know your weakness. They will 9/10 times ask you what your weakest quality is. Be honest about it, because when you get the job, they will find out quickly that you fibbed your way through the interview. I feel it is important to add to this that you want to sell your strengths that are important to the company. If you're applying for a retail management job, and you have some background in design... they probably don't care so much about your ability to designate CMYK from RGB as they do how you can manage a staff while handling customers. 

It's a give and take. You can ask questions too. Ask questions that you have found after researching the company. This lets them know that you not only DO know the company and didn't just walk in off the bus with no direction and that you care enough to want more information about them. Don't be shy!

Don't forget to say thank you. Have a firm handshake. Be confident. Hold your shoulders high and let them know you look forward to talking to them real soon. Follow up in a few days via email or phone.