The last month has been spent participating in an executive job search and you have taken all the employment advice you could obtain; even reading a popular career blog. You have considered your career options and used a career finder to great effect. Also you utilized all those job search tips and have sent your resume off for every open, suitable position you could find. You piqued your potential employer’s attention and passed the first stage of the phone screenings. Now the hard part really commences! Now is time for the interview.
Apparently you are a bit nervous about the interview to say the least. You have taken all your employment advice to heart and are acutely aware that in the current job market you will be competing with others. Read on for a step by step guide on how you can sufficiently prepare for this interview.
Firstly the most important thing is to be completely prepared for the interview. You have to learn all there is to know about the company you are interviewing with. The Internet is a perfect source of information to work with. Browse the company’s website to make sure you know what its current challenges, opportunities, goals, values, and culture are. Try to acquire the company’s annual and quarterly reports. Perhaps see if the local library can supply you with this information. The company may be growing or be a rather young or private company. If this is the case and you find it trying to acquire a great deal of information about the company; you can always look at its biggest competitors to identify any industry-wide problems these companies are facing.
The second step is to first track down and talk with employees of the company or previous employees. These individuals can be a excellent resource for information. Particularly uncover any issues the company as a whole and the area you are applying for may be facing. This intelligence can help prepare you for the questions or subject matter that the interviewer(s) will expect you to know. Getting an idea of the culture for the company will help you show those attributes at the interview, which will present you as a great fit.
Make a customized set of responses for the usual questions that interviewers are bound to ask you. For questions about your previous work-related experiences, put together responses that follow the STAR method. Answers following the STAR method are according to the kind of situation you were in, how you genuinely reacted, the actions you implemented, and the corresponding results. After you’ve put all of this information together, you ought to find a career coach who can set up a mock interview for you. Give your mock interviewer a description of the job you’re applying for, a list of your qualifications, and a list of the behaviors you think will be vital to your potential employer. After you’ve gone through your first mock interview, use the feedback that the interview expert gives you and set up another mock interview. The results of the mock interview process could help you feel more confident, sound less robotic, and act more naturally during your real interview.
When you communicated with previous and current employees you should have inquired about the proper dress for your interview. It always pays to be ready beforehand. Thus you should double check that your attire is pressed well in advance of your interview; so you do not have to scramble at the last minute. You should also take a trip out where the interview is a day in advance. Once it’s time for the interview leave early enough to ensure you get there at least 10 minutes before it starts. If you get there way too early just remain in your car for a few minutes while you review your notes. Just like a movie, one cell phone call can ruin your complete interview. So make sure you turn it off. Since courtesy is contagious, be polite to all the employees you talk to.
You will finally be called into the interview. As long as you have prepared thoroughly enough you have nothing to be concerned about. Beam at your interviewer and give he or she a strong handshake. Also maintain eye contact and do not take a seat until offered. Remain friendly throughout the interview but also professional. You do not want to act too casually but neither do you want to come across as stern or bland (unless this is precisely what the company is looking for). When you are offered the chance, thank the interviewer for his or her time. Answer all questions articulately and keep your statements concise. It may seem like a cliché but be yourself. Reveal the value you would bring to the company and steer clear of bad mouthing any previous employers. Everybody has faults and if anything is mentioned that actually highlight your own; do what you can to lessen its impact by giving reasons why and how you overcame this weakness. You have to seem confident but not overly so. Do not cross the line into overconfidence.
Each interview will normally end with an invitation to ask questions. It will look bad if you have little to ask. You must always have a number of questions prepared. Ask something about the particular opening, the company, and the particular department you are applying for. Perhaps ask the interviewer how he or she feels about the company and department. You can also ask if there is anything the interviewer likes to discuss in further depth. Ask when you can expect to hear back from the company and what are the next steps. Supplying a thank you e-mail after you get home can be a good gesture.