You did it! You’ve secured your interview for the job that you want. How you prepare for the next steps will have a very big role on your success.
1. Do your research
Employers want to know that you know about them. The first step is to go to their website. Most companies have an “about us” page. Browse around for a while and feel free to take some notes. Depending on the type of position that you want, you may want to arm yourself with different levels of research. If you have LinkedIn, try to see if there is anybody that you know that works at the company. They may help get you your job. Know the industry trends for the position that you are trying to get and familiarize yourself with the brand. When I was looking for work a few years back, I went into an interview for a Social Media Manager position. During my interview, of which I interviewed with the Director of Marketing (he would have been my boss), I already had identified some weaknesses in their social media and made some suggestions during my interview. This impressed him very much as he agreed, and I ended up getting the job offer.
2. Be early (at least ten minutes early) and dress professionally
3. Use your resume as your guide
Make sure that your resume stands up to the test. This is will your time and effort in knowing and producing your resume will pay off. If you have references, make sure that they know that you put them down as a reference. You’d be surprised how many people forget names or dates if they are blindsided. Never speak ill of previous employers (because they will think that you will do that to them if you ever leave) and be professional. This is where you sell yourself and advertise your accomplishments and accolades. Usually your elevator speech will work here as well.
4. Once you’re in the room, know your audience.
Right off the bat you’ll know what type of person (or persons) you are interviewing with. If you’re meeting with someone that will work in your department or that you will answer to, make sure that you know about the position and be confident. Try to have a conversation as opposed to answering questions that are just being asked as a part of a list of checkmarks. Being confident is half the battle. If your interviewer is hard to read it’s always a good rule to be professional and stick to the script. Your homework will be noticed and you will be successful. Listen to the questions and take your time responding. Remain positive during your interview. Sometimes you have to go through a few layers of interviews to get to the main one, just keep building off of your success and stay confident. The most important thing that I will ever tell any job seeker as interview advice… BE YOURSELF. You can’t fake being genuine.
5. Follow up
Do what you can get the contact information for the recruiters interviewing you. If you don’t have it or they don’t provide it for you, it’s okay to call and stop by a few days after your interview. Never, under any circumstances, call right after your interview or drop by too many times (it’s okay to respond to recruiters if they are calling right after your interview but they have to initiate if it’s that quick)