You saw the job posting, you submitted your resume, you waited by the phone, and finally the day is here. The interview. The time when you get to dress up and sit in a room while being drilled about your job history, your education, your work ethic, and your overall character as a human being. No pressure.
Every job interview is different, but there are some hard and fast rules that apply regardless of the position or industry you are interested in.
Do Not Ever
Dominate. Even if you are confident, compelling, and charismatic, don’t dominate the conversation before you are even asked a single question. Be sure the interview works like a dialog, not a monologue.
Gossip. If you absolutely hated your last job, or got into a screaming match with your boss last week, leave those details out of your interview. Saying negative things about your past work only tells the interviewer that you’re a complainer and indiscreet about problems. Both will likely disqualify you for any position.
Lie. This should be obvious, but it is not. Lying includes fibbing, omitting information, or stretching the truth. Don’t say you were in charge of the monthly company budget if you’re referring to paying the rent. Don’t say you produced an employee manual if you only took it to the copy center. Anything you say can be checked, so be accurate and upfront.
Self-aggrandize. Of course you want to show your best side, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any flaws. Don’t use the interview as an opportunity to insinuate that you are perfect in every way. This comes off as cocky, not qualified.
Be Late. Don’t ever show up late to an interview. If you’re on time, you’re late. Always arrive 5-10 minutes early for your interview. Plan ahead to find reliable transportation and leave with plenty of time to spare.
Have an Opinion and Examples. Your interviewer wants to get to know you, so don’t be afraid to share openly. When asked your opinion, don’t be afraid to give it. When asked about your work history, have specifics and examples ready to deliver.
Practice: Practicing for an interview is a great way to shake off the nerves before you enter the boardroom. This is especially crucial if you tend to freeze when you’re put on the spot. Use a friend or family member to practice common interview questions before the big day.
Dress Up. Even if you’re applying for a job in construction, put on a tie. Arrive clean and pressed. It is always better to be overdressed than be the only person in the room who is wearing jeans.
Focus on the Job. Focus your questions on the job itself, what is expected, and how you can contribute to the company. Don’t ask about the vacation package or employee discount at the interview. Of course, benefits should be discussed before you accept an offer, but they don’t need to come up in the first interview. Those are follow-up questions that can be addressed later.
Do Your Homework. Know who you are interviewing with and what the position entails. Walking into a company you know nothing about tells the interviewer that you don’t really care.
We take great pride in helping great candidates find outstanding jobs. If you’re looking for a great new opportunity and need help prepping for your next job interview, please contact Triumph Strategic Consulting today.