How to Ace That Job Interview
You’re on the job hunt, you’ve got a rock star resume, and as luck would have it you’ve gotten a call saying that the company wants you to come in for an interview. Maria Larsen, a Human Resources generalist from Phoenix, Arizona has several tips to help you shine when you go in for the interview.
“Know the dress culture of the company,” explains Larsen. “The best way to gauge this is by dropping your application off in person. If you are unsure, you can ask the person at the front desk. But business casual is always a safe bet.”
“This should go without saying,” says Larsen, “but remember the three B’s: boobs, belly, butt. None of those should be showing. You would think that would be common sense, but I’ve had people show up for job interview with curse words or drug paraphernalia on their shirts, too much skin showing, or saggy pants.”
2. Give Candid Responses
“Most interviews are moving towards a behavioral focus. HR people want to know what you would do in a particular situation. So think of examples ahead of time for potential job interview questions. Have you ever worked on a team? What is a good experience, or a bad experience? What made your team successful, or not? If you had a difficult customer who wanted to complain, how would you handle the situation?”
Larsen says, “interviewers want to see your thinking process. So be specific about your examples and how you handled the situations.”
3. Listen to the Question
“Be sure to listen carefully to each question,” advises Larsen, “then pause for a second to think about your answer before giving your response. You want to make sure that you actually addressed what the interviewer was asking.”
4. Don’t Give Too Much Information
“There’s a difference between being candid and giving too much information,” Larsen explains. “You don’t need to talk about your personal life or put forward a political agenda during a job interview. Just give the interviewer the information they need to know: can you do the job that you are interviewing for?”
5. Follow Up
Larsen says that it used to be common practice for applicants to e-mail their interviewer to say thank you for their time, “but in today’s market we are so inundated with e-mails and phone calls that a follow up e-mail would just be one more piece of correspondence for me to handle.”
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t follow up on an interview that you think went well. “If you haven’t heard back from the company within five business days, go ahead and call or e-mail to check on the status of your application. But don’t sound desperate,” says Larsen. “Keep the conversation short and to the point. Thank them for their time, say that you would like to check on the status of your application, and that’s it.”
I hope these tips are helpful and that you’re going to ace that job interview and get a great job. It’s a tough job market out there, but keep your chin up. Something fabulous is just around the corner.