Interviewing 101 – 3 Tips for Better Interviewing

Interviewing 101 – 3 Tips for Better Interviewing

Interviewing 101

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If you have a job, you no doubt had to interview for the position. Sure, you might have networked your way into the job, but you still needed to have some sort of conversation with regards to the position. As an interviewer, I'm amazed at how unprepared people are for interviews or how casual they seem to treat the process. Having been both an interviewee and an interviewer I have a great idea of how to do well when interviewing.

If you're offered an interview, you obviously did something right. You were one of the first ten people to submit your tailored resume. You provided a thoughtful cover letter. So if you took the time to prepare a great resume or cover letter, shouldn't you also do the same preparation for the interview?

Here are my three tips for better interviewing:

Interviewing 101

Do Your Research – As an interviewer, I like to ask the candidate ” what do they know about the company?” Doing even a cursory glance at the company's website gives you an idea of what the company is all about. You could also go to LinkedIn and find people who work for the company and ask them questions. If the candidate doesn't have an answer to my question, or they don't ask any questions about the company's operations, it shows lack of effort and lack of interest.

Ask Questions – When I'm interviewing a candidate and I ask them if they have any questions, and I get a “no” as a response, that doesn't impress me much. When I'm asked a thoughtful question about the position, about the company, etc. that speaks volumes as to whether the candidate is actually interested in the position, or was just blanketing the Internet with their resume.

Here are some sample questions to ask:

  • Why do you like coming to work here?
  • What's the most challenging part about this job?
  • What's the first project you would want me to work on in this role?
  • How do you define success in the position?
  • Is this a new position?
  • What happened to the person who was in this position previously?
  • What's my manager's management style like?
  • What's the dress code?
  • What's the work schedule?

Do not ask these questions during your first interview:

  • What kinds of benefits do you have?
  • Can I work from home?
  • How much vacation do you offer?
  • What kind of salary do you offer?

When interviewing, it's about finding out what you can offer the company, not about what the company can offer you. Once the company is interested in you and has extended an offer is it OK to talk about benefits and salary.

Write a Thank You – I've written before about the power of the handwritten note. Take five minutes after the interview to send me a thank you note/card or at the very least a thank you email.

If I give you a copy of my business card, I'm doing it because I want to see if you'll follow-up with me. You'd be surprised how many people I've interviewed and how many do not actually send a thank you note. If the job came down to you who sent me a thank you note and another candidate who didn't, who do you think I'm going to offer the job to?

Conclusion

Doing a simple Google search will show you a lot of sites that provide information and guidance on interviewing. My tips are from my direct experience with interviewing as both a candidate and an interviewer. Follow my advice, and you'll have an advantage over a lot of candidates. Take it from me, when one open position receives over 200 resumes, and we're not even a tech giant like Facebook or Google, if you're resume stands out to earn you an interview, you owe it to yourself to prepare for and have an awesome interview.

Disclosure of Material Connection

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