Interview Strategies That Work

Posted: September 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Interview Strategies That Work

Your resume did it’s job and landed you the interview. Now it’s your time to turn on the charm and ace the interview, only problem is figuring out what works during those precious 60 minutes you have with the decision maker.

Bring Your Personality
According to Kris Plantrich of Fox News DC’s Job Shop, you should bring your personality. Kris says “Remember that the interviewer is looking for much more than just your qualifications. If that were all they wanted they would make their decisions based solely on the resume. An interview is a meeting between two parties and so you are encouraged to be active in the discussion. Hiring managers are looking for someone that is eager to learn and succeed, someone that feels like a good fit for their office, team or department and someone that really wants to work for them.”  The article continues noting that interviewers also want to see if you are someone that can learn and promote their products, services, and company in a confident and positive manner. It is up to you to show your personality and who you are as a person. It won’t help either party if the real and authentic you is not present at the interview.

Be Prepared
This advice seems like a broken record and yet I could retire if I had a dollar for the amount of times I meet candidates that have done next to no research on the company. With the world of Google at your fingertips, searching a company’s website isn’t enough anymore. As Caroline M. L. Potter points out on Yahoo! Hot Jobs, before any interview, you’ve got a considerable amount of homework ahead of you. Make sure you carefully research the company at which you’re interviewing and try to learn as much as you can about the position and your interviewer as possible.

One executive revealed to Caroline that a potential employee was so unprepared that he “got his companies confused and repeatedly mentioned the strengths of a competing firm, thinking that’s who he was interviewing with.” Another called his interviewer by the wrong name throughout the entirety of the meeting.  Always give yourself a few extra moments to prep for your interview, either on the train or subway, or while you’re waiting in the lobby. Review people’s names, the company’s focus and your potential responsibilities, and go in with a clear head.

Dress For Success
One tip I gave during Monday’s Windy City Live appearance at ABC that started a ripple of whispered conversation through the live audience was to match your wardrobe to the company’s colors. This slight shift in attire has consistently hit home runs with hiring managers for over a decade by answering the “fit” question. For men, add a tie that coordinates with the company’s color (e.g. interviewing at ABC, put on an ABC blue tie) and for women, integrate a scarf or blouse that matches the company’s colors. Top it off by polishing your shoes (and nails), having a freshly trimmed haircut and a well-tailored suit. Yes, a suit regardless of how casual the environment – remember, you’re interviewing for the position – you don’t have the luxury of dressing as if you work there just yet (hopefully soon)!  Need a budget-friendly suit option? Check out Nordstrom Rack, Filene’s Basement or Macy’s when they have sales for complete suits! I bought a scarf on sale this week at Nordstrom on Michigan Ave. for $24 (reg. price $115) – sales are a job seeker’s best friend.