TIPS FOR INTERVIEW PREPARATION
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
- Wear a dark, conservative suit, white shirt or blouse.
- Do not wear flashy colors.
- Wear simple, modest jewelry.
- Do not wear perfume or cologne. Certain scents, including cigar or cigarette smoke, can be distracting.
Research the company. Go online to obtain this information. Make notes to highlight what the company does. Find out who are their customers or competitors. Recall prior experiences that you have had in a similar field.
- Arrive in the client's lobby at least 5 to 10 minutes prior to the interview, no later. Make sure your cell phone is turned off.
- Be respectful and polite to the receptionist.
- Greet the client with a firm, but gentle handshake, maintain eye contact.
- Use good posture, smile and show confidence.
- Have several copies of your resumé with you.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
- Sit up straight, but relax. Make sure to maintain eye contact and smile.
- Make sure that you understand the position you are interviewing for. If you have questions – ask; however do not interrupt.
- Make notes on applicable experience and what skills and knowledge you bring to the table.
- Avoid controversial comments / subjects.
- Never shed negative light on a prior employer.
- Have 2-3 questions prepared for the interviewer in relation to the position, company, or department.
- Do not ask questions about salary or benefits during the first interview.
- At the conclusion of the meeting, thank the interviewer for their time and express interest in the role (i.e. "Mr. Smith, Thank you for taking the time to meet me today. I feel as though my experience matches up nicely to your open position.")
- After the interview, make sure to write a thank you note to the interviewers. Tell them why you are right for the job.
- Make sure to proofread your note prior to sending.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW PREPARATION GUIDE
Telephone interviews can be tricky. When a client is conducting a telephone interview, the interviewee needs to have all information prepared prior to the call. The following are tips for a successful phone interview:
- Have your resumé in front of you. Have specific information highlighted that is relevant to the job opening.
- Go into a room where you are by yourself with no distractions.
- Look in the mirror when you are speaking, even smiling at yourself. This will really help your personality shine through.
- Try not to answer just "yes" or "no." Elaborate when you can and when it's appropriate. At the end of the call, thank the interviewer for taking the time for speaking with you. Follow up with a thank you note.
HOW TO ANSWER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Interviews can be stressful. Trying to answer tricky, but commonly asked, interview questions can make it even more stressful. We want to help you better prepare for these questions:(Q) What do you like most about your current job? What do you dislike?
(A) I really enjoy the people and the leadership. I enjoy going into work everyday and collaborating with my coworkers in order to produce accurate financials. In addition, the leadership team is always looking for ways to help us streamline processes. The reason I'm leaving my current role is because I feel as though I'm ready to take the next step in my career. I'm interested in working for a more progressive company where I can challenge myself on a day-to-day basis. Although I appreciate the experience my current role has taught me, I'm ready to find out what else I'm capable of.
(Q) What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
(A) Example: "My strengths are time management and meeting deadlines. I know how important it is in accounting to be able to prioritize and complete work in a timely fashion" Think about your strengths and don't be afraid to brag on yourself…a little! As far as your weaknesses are concerned, remember that no one is perfect. Pick one weakness (that won't disqualify you from the job) and talk about it. For example "I have a hard time saying "no". So sometimes I bite off more than I can chew".
(Q) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
(A) Be honest! Are you looking to climb the corporate ladder or are you happy specializing in a specific skill? A simple answer might be "working here!"
QUESTIONS FOR THE INTERVIEWER
You want to be prepared with at least 2 or 3 questions to ask the Interviewer. It's better to arrive with these questions prepared...it's so easy to draw a blank under pressure.(Q) Has this position been open very long and why was this position created?
(Q) What is the culture of the company?
(Q) What skill set do you feel is most important for this role?
(Q) What is the structure of the department?
(Q) What are the career paths in this position?
(Q) What made you decide to work for the company?
(Q) What are the next steps in the process?