When was the last time you interviewed for a job? More appropriately, when was the last time you had to interview for a job? For many of you, it’s probably been ten or fifteen years or more. Unfortunately many business people have had to think about looking for a job, and one thing is absolutely true and it’s imperative that you remember this….the world has changed since you last interviewed! The harsh reality is that the world does not owe you a thing for your experience and your hard work and your faithful service. There’s lot of people looking for a job and many are younger and will work longer for less pay. So if you do find yourself in a situation where you have to interview you had better be sharp.
Here are a few of the essential interviewing skills that you’ll need to keep in mind!
- SMALL DETAILS: Know the name of the company and its products and be able to pronounce them. It’s the little things that will kill you in an interview, and if you don’t know them…..NEXT!
- CORPORATE CULTURE: Understand the corporate culture ahead of time, and, if nothing else, dress appropriately. But don’t take any chances. Look like a pro. When you get the job, then adjust. I once had a guy show up for an interview in sunglasses and a trench coat, and he never took the sunglasses off!
- KILL THE CELL PHONE: Don’t check email during an interview. Don’t text during an interview. Believe it or not, it happens. Enough said!
- BREAKING NEWS: Take some time and visit the web site of the company you’re visiting and update yourself on the latest news and press releases that are posted. So you’re knowledgeable and won’t be caught off guard.
- BRING WORK SAMPLES: Don’t be afraid to send some of your best work samples ahead of time and have extra copies with you. It matters.
- 1st IMPRESSIONS: Be sure to run your cover letter and resume through spell checks and then have an eagle eyed friend look at it as back up. Again, it’s the little things that kill.
- KEEP IT SHORT: Your resume and cover letter should not be more than two pages each. Hit the highlights and leave the nit and grit for the conversation. A resume’s sole purpose is to grab attention, not necessarily to sell.
- PLAY IT STRAIGHT: Cover letter and resume should be written in a clear and crisp language style with no pretension to exaggeration. Anything more and the employer will begin to second guessing your credentials. If there’s any hint of fudging on work history, education or income the deal is over with.
- BE MEMORABLE: Don’t do it with loud coats or dresses/outfits but with personality or listening skills or questions or work samples. There are usually lots of people vying for any given job so figure out a logical and business savvy way to BE MEMORABLE!
- SAY THANKS, PLEASE: As corny as it may sound this one piece of logical etiquette is becoming a lost art. Always close with a recap of your value to the company, say you’ll follow up, smile and shake a hand and always acknowledge your appreciation of their time and interest. Then always, always, always follow up with a hand written thank you letter.
Always sell your value based on what you can do now, not necessarily what you have done for other companies. Nobody wants to interview but if you have to you just as well be the best. Remember these ten foundational suggestions and you’re well on your way to a new gig.
If you need some help give me a call. That’s what I do and I’m open for business. Call or write me today. Until then, BE GREAT!