TIPS FOR INTERVIEWING IN PERSON
We know interviews can be stressful and overwhelming. It is important to be prepared and put your best foot forward, especially when you meet in person. The following tips should help you prepare and ace that next interview:
Before the Interview:
- Research the company. Look up the company history, current news, and stock symbol; make sure you understand what they do and that you can explain it to them. It’s acceptable to walk into an interview with your notes.
- Research the interviewer. Run a Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn search on the person you will be interviewing with. You can learn valuable information about them that may help you with the interview. You may have common ground or know some of the same people.
- Know where you are going. Pull up a map of where you are going and make sure you can get there without difficulty. If you are unsure, try a “trial run” and always give yourself an extra 10 minutes to be sure you are on time.
During the Interview:
- Dress for Success. You are interviewing for a job – show them you are there to get it. Go business casual after the offer but not until then.
- Be on time, but no more than 10 minutes early. Getting there too early rushes the manager and he/she will walk into the interview stressed or uneasy. They may have felt obligated to hurry up with what they were doing to prevent keeping you from waiting.
- Bring your resume. Print out 2 to 3 copies of your resume. The hiring manager may bring someone else into the interview. If they don’t have a copy of your resume, you can hand them one. This makes you look professional and prepared.
- Take Notes. Bring a notebook with a pad of paper and 2 writing utensils to take notes during the interview. This will help you come back to any questions that come up during the interview that may need to be readdressed. You may also have a few questions jotted down that you want to ask during the interview.
- Ask questions. Have questions lined up to ask the manager at the start of the interview. You want to gain an understanding of what their expectations are, the projects they are working on right now, challenges they have or anticipate encountering. Once you have this knowledge you can answer their questions using examples of your work history making your answers relevant to their current projects and needs.
Examples of questions will be:
- What are your expectations of someone in this role?
- What projects are you working on right now?
- What projects do you have coming up?
- What challenges have you encountered or do you anticipate?
- Would you give me a technology overview for this position?
- How does this role, integrate within the team and within the company?
- What opportunities for advancement are there?
- Let them know you’re interested. When the interview feels like it is starting to wind down, be sure to let the manager know you are interested in the position. A lot of people will go interview and fail to tell the manager they want the job. Hiring managers want to know you are interested in the company and the job. Give two personal reasons why the job is appealing. For example: You really enjoy the technology base they work on and want to continue your knowledge base in that direction. You have worked on similar projects and found them to be challenging. The opportunities for advancement with this position are very attractive to you.
- Restate your value. Then follow up with three business reasons of why they need to move you forward with the next steps. This restates your value to the organization.
- You are heavily entrenched in the same technology they are working on.
- You can hit the ground running and bring immediate value to the group.
- You have been exposed to some of the challenges they are facing right now and you know how to work through those effectively.
- Confirm that you have answered their questions. There may be something that they would like you to go into more detail on.
- Ask about next steps. For example, based upon our conversation today, what are our next steps moving forward? If they say they need to get you in for a follow up interview be sure to have some times lined up so you can go ahead and get the next interview on the calendar.
- Thank the hiring manager for his/her time and that you look forward to speaking with them further.
- Interview DON’TS
- Don’t discuss money.
- Don’t ask about vacation time
- Don’t ask about how much paid time off you get.
- Don’t ask about benefits
- Don’t talk about health issues
Note: the interview is about what value you bring to the organization. These discussions are best left for the offer stage. You want the hiring manger to understand you are interested in the job and bringing value to the company. If you approach the interview focused on vacation, money, benefits or time off, the hiring manager may feel you are really more interested in what the company can do for you and not what you can do for the company.
- After the Interview
Call your recruiter after the interview and let them know how things went. Share the positive and negative so we can get back to the manager and promptly establish next steps or handle damage control on your behalf. Sometimes you may walk out of an interview wishing you had said something different or approached a technology answer in a different manner. It is easier to address these things quickly after an interview, if needed, than to wait. Time is critical.