Success! You got called in for an interview! All the work put into your resume and cover letter have paid off and elevated you compared to the 100+ other job applicants! Now you need to prepare for the interview so you are the one offered the job. Here are 5 Tips to help you succeed!
1). Review Your Resume
This may seem silly as you know the information on your resume better than anyone since you lived those experiences. However, it is worthwhile to take the time to closely review your resume. Refresh your memory of your previous work experience especially if some of the jobs are from a few years ago.
Think of specific short stories you can tell if you are asked about the details included on your resume. For example, if your resume indicates you boosted sales by 25%, think through how you would answer questions about this (i.e., What did you do to boost the sales? How was the increase was quantified?).
2). Research the Company and Prepare Questions
It is important that you show you are very interested in the job opportunity. One way to do this is to research the position and the company and be prepared to ask questions. If the interviewer asks if you have any questions and you say "I can't think of anything," it comes across as if you are uninterested.
Instead, come armed with questions about the company culture, what the interviewer thinks the company growth will be over the next five years, how the new hire will be trained, what a typical day is like, etc. Here is a list of 50+ questions you can ask at the interview!
3). Prepare for the Classic Difficult Interview Questions
In most interviews you will be asked a question about your weaknesses and/or an issue you faced and how you handled it. Don't plan to just think of an answer on the spot. Prepare ahead of time by thinking through these tricky questions and coming up with ideas for how to answer them. Ultimately, you would like to spin your weakness or the issue you faced into a positive. You want to show that you can overcome adversity. Taking the time to consider these issues in advance will help you look more professional and polished when it is time to face challenging interview questions.
4). Have an Answer as to Why YOU are the Best Candidate
Just as it can be tricky to answer a question about your weakness, it can also be challenging to say that you are the best! But, the interviewer is looking to hire the best candidate so you need to sell yourself as the top choice for the job.
Before heading to the interview, think about why you would be the best choice for this job. Maybe you have a skill they are in need of or can help solve a challenge they are facing. Perhaps you have previous experience that would help you stand out above the competition. Maybe you have an educational background that aligns perfectly with the position. Whatever makes you the best choice, identify it before the interview and be sure to express it while answering the interview questions. This will make apparent to the interviewer that you are the best candidate!
5). Make a Plan so You Leave Knowing What to Expect
Too many candidates leave an interview without knowing if or when they will hear from the hiring manager. They go home and wonder if they should call to follow up or if that will look desperate and make them less desirable. Instead, you should make sure you have an expectation set BEFORE the interview ends. Ask the interviewer when you will hear from them regarding the position. If they say in 2 weeks, then feel free to follow up after the 2 weeks has passed if you haven't heard yet.
Bonus Tip! Be Prepared to Write a Thank You Note After the Interview
A thank you note can elevate you compared to the other job candidates. This is especially true if you take the extra step of writing it as more than just a thank you note. Instead, write a value proposition letter. It will do the following:
Thank the interviewer for their time
Remind them why you are the best candidate for the position
Create a personal connection
Show that you are professional and have good manners
Offer another example of your ability to communicate clearly and effectively
In order to write a value proposition letter, you must get the contact information from the interviewer before you leave so you know how to reach them. Ask for a business card or write down the necessary information.
After the interview you may also want to spend a few minutes jotting down notes in the parking lot when your memory is fresh. For example, if during the interview you found out the company has an issue you can solve, you will want to include that detail in your value proposition letter. Make sure you record it so you can include it when writing the letter later that day.
Revision Resume is here to help you with your entire job application process. In addition to resumes and cover letters, we also assist clients with value proposition letters. Contact us so we can help you provide your interviewer a thank you note that helps get you the job offer you desire!
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