You finally got the call you have been waiting for, they want to meet with you! Will you be ready? Below is a quick checklist that can make or break getting a job offer!
1. Research the company and know their culture! Interviewers will be eager to find out if you are interested in the organization or just in getting any old job. Spend time on the company website reviewing the company culture, mission, priorities, awards, and leadership team. You will have a better understanding of the company's values by their website. Also, Google the organization, employee review's, and blog's. Hiring manager will want to know the applicant fit's into their culture and not just the position they are applying to. (Hint: The company awards will tell you what the company values and has been successful in doing)
2. Bring your resume and know what's on it! It's your career background, you shouldn't need a cheat sheet. You should bring a copy of your resume for every individual you are interviewing with and a few extra. If the interviewer asks you to walk them through your career history, don't stare at your resume. Sometimes the dates all mix together, especially when you are nervous. But, you should practice going through your work history as this will always be a question by your future employer. If you spend less time reading from your resume, you will appear more confident and calm during the interview. (Hint: Resumes need to be on resume paper, it makes a different!)
3. Dress to impress but don't over do it! After you have researched the culture, you should have a better idea of the dress code and expectations. A corporate environment will be traditional with a full suit but an innovative start-up would prefer not to see another suit and tie. This is your first impression so dress professionally but understand that it means something different at every organization. If you do speak with a recruiter prior to an interview, don't be afraid to ask questions about interview attire.
4. Create a professional portfolio if you want to really stand out! Handing a professional portfolio to an HR or hiring manager will indicate that you take your career seriously and you are prepared! A professional portfolio can be comprised of your projects, awards/accolades', certifications, overview of accomplishments, recommendations, etc. It's good to make it unique to you and the career path you are on. I recommend hiring a professional to complete this for you, especially if you have limited experience in this area. (Hint: WillisPS has prepared professional portfolio's when clients have requested)
5. Practice, Practice, Practice! Gold medalist to local little league players practice for the big day, you should practice too! Google interview questions and practice with a trusted friend. WillisPS is always here to prepare any applicant for their next interview, whether it has been 2 days or 20 years since your last big day! Develop your list of behavioral examples and accomplishments to review alone and with a partner. If you are prepared you will be calm, cool, and confident on the day of your interview.
Jada Willis, Founder - Willis Professional Services