Today we will focus on how to successfully complete a job interview. I am going to give you 10 tips that you can use to ensure you are on the shortlist of the hiring manager by the time you leave the room. But before we start, one of my favorite apps, which is audible. I will have more information about the book recommendation from my personal library, but if you want to get a 30-day free trial and a free audiobook of your choice, you can upgrade it audible.com/thomas to start, send an SMS to Thomas at 500-500. The first exercise on our list is to do the interview. You really have plenty of opportunities to do them. During my four years, when I was a student at Iowa State University, every year that Career Fair was held in the city, there were real employers who would come to the Career Center and offer their time to do coaching interviews with any student who enrolled in one. These interviews were not real interviews, but real conversations with people who were recruiting managers or HR from companies that took place at the Career Fair.
So, in addition to being a good practice for future real interviews, they actually had a good networking experience with people who could make decisions in the future. But the main advantage of these types of interviews is that they are excellent practice for reality since an interview is inherently a nerve-covering experience. So if you get in a short time and do hands-on interviews where the stakes are not that high, you will be able to get into reality with a lot more confidence and a lot more polish. The number two tip is to be as friendly and busy as possible with everyone who interacts with you in the company. Now I don’t think that people go into companies and downright rude to the secretary or tell people they don’t want to talk to them, but a lot of students will go to a company, and if there is a little time to wait before the interview, they will let you just sit in the waiting room and watch over your phone.
I can tell you from experience, that people who are not hiring managers always observe the behavior of potential candidates and then talk to these hiring managers. In many companies, hiring decisions are not just about the people you interview with. Most of the time, they will ask anyone who has spoken to a potential candidate if he has any objections. So, if you enter a company and Have a few minutes before the interview, spend time talking to the person in front. Or if they are busy, at least be really polite, congratulate them, ask them how their day is, then sit back and wait for yourself. Also, do not walk around the building carrying a cell phone. Tip number three on our list, come and prepare questions for your interviewer. Now you might think that an interview is just a situation where you should answer the interviewer’s questions as they determine if you are the best candidate for the job.
But do not forget that you are trying to determine if the work is suitable for you too. Also, coming to the prepared interview with your own questions tells the interviewer that you are engaged, that you are interested in the situation, and that you are preparing a little. While you might think that by having no questions, you seem to know everything, and maybe that’s a good thing, what it really does is the interviewer wonders if you’re nostalgic about the situation and if you’re just doing it for the money. One question you should definitely put in your back pocket: what opportunities will there be for advancement or additional tasks in this company?
The great thing about this kind of question is that it tells your interviewer that you are willing to be adaptable and flexible and that you are striving to learn new things, and that it is a great quality that you are the owner of a business. Related to my third tip on asking questions during the interview, tip number four is to research the company before entering the interview room. Again, it shows a level of preparation and dedication that many other candidates will not have, and it will help you stand out. Now I know what you are thinking. What kind of research should I do, Thom?
Well, you can do a little preliminary research on the history of the company and its activities, what you really want to understand what culture looks like, what people do to what there is, and what its objective conditions usually imply. Now, on the general situation and Tasks side, there are a lot of websites on the internet, so I recommend just Googling, which is what a network engineer does, for example, but for the individual company, you can use sites like Glassdoor and vault to get feedback from real employees and get a little knowledge of the company culture. Well, we are on Tip Number Five, which is to bring a notebook and pen for an interview with you. Doing so is yet another indication that you are dedicated and detail-oriented, since you are able to take notes on job descriptions during the interview, but it allows you to prepare with pre-written notes on the history of the company or any of your questions.
You also need to bring a few copies of your resume, just in case, it becomes useful during the conversation. And if you are applying for a situation where examples of your work will be useful, bring them too. In my last two years at University before becoming a full-time entrepreneur, what I brought in an interview was this leather portfolio that included resume copies, laptop paper, and pens, and I also brought an iPad that I placed inside it that contained screenshots of my web development work. And a little sideways here, I made sure I had screenshots of the web development work because if the company didn’t have wifi,I couldn’t load the actual websites. Tip number six, it’s seven, six. Send thank-you notes or thank-you emails within 24 hours of your interview.
Now I say thank you notes or thank you emails because time is of the essence here in my mind, and in many cases, it is quite difficult to get a real, physical handwritten note to your interviewer, especially if the building where you went to the interview is far from where you are. So in these cases, a thank you email works very well. But if you have the opportunity to deliver a real handwritten thank you note, and it is within 24 hours or maybe within 48 hours at the latest, it can really add a nice touch. It’s also worth noting, and yes, it was a pun, that you shouldn’t limit your thank you notes or simply thank the email to the middleman. If you have had a conversation with a secretary during your time in the building or need to visit the building or talk to someone you will, send thank you emails to those people.
It really goes a long way. The number seven tip on our list is to wear a tailored suit during your interview, assuming you need to wear professional formal attire. Now I have to take a little admission here. Since I bought myself a suit that really fits well, unlike the one I had in college that certainly didn’t suit me, it suited me like a tarp, I would recommend a real suit to pass the interview instead of settling for a regular professional formal outfit but if you don’t have a suit and you can’t buy one, you can definitely wear a button-down shirt with a nice tie and a nice pair of pants. If you are a girl, there are definitely clothes that fit this formal business requirement, or you can do something like a dress skirt. But in general, you want to make sure you’re ready to succeed in the situation.
Now an exception to this recommendation if you are specifically asked not to wear a suit, or they tell you what to wear for maintenance. If you go to a company that has a really casual dress culture and they say, “Hey, come with a T-shirt and jeans, man,” don’t show up in a suit because you’re going to look like you’re not getting into that company culture. Now, if you are not sure how a dress should fit or you are looking for additional advice on how to dress well for an interview, I definitely have some recommendations for you guys.