Looking for a job can be hard, but if you are offered an interview, you want to use this opportunity to showcase your skills. From the moment you get an invitation to meet with a potential employer, you should communicate professionally.
Before the Interview
When a potential employer calls to invite you for an interview, be polite and professional on the phone. Be sure to be flexible when scheduling a time and date to meet. When preparing for the interview, review your resume and print out up-to-date copies to bring with you. Include relevant job experiences, your best skills, and correct contact information. Be sure you are clean and dressed appropriately. Even if the job you are applying for doesn’t require business attire, you should dress professionally for the interview. Acceptable clothing could include dress slacks, a collared shirt, or a simple suit. Basic clothes that fit well and are ironed will make a better impression than expensive clothes that are ill-fitting or wrinkled! Before you go, be sure you learn about the company and the position you are interviewing for.
During the Interview
On the day of the interview, arrive promptly and be prepared to stay for as long as necessary. The person who is interviewing you will let you know when the interview is finished. Shake hands and remain standing until the interviewer asks you to be seated. As you are asked questions, answer honestly and respectfully. Be sure your responses are positive. Do not speak negatively about past employers or experiences. Be sure to mention your talents, and how you could use them to help the company if you were offered a position. At the end of the interview, you will likely be asked if you have any questions. This is a good opportunity to show you have done your research; ask the interviewer an informed question about the company. Before you leave, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time.
After the Interview
Be patient if you don’t hear back from an employer right away. The hiring process takes time. While you wait for their decision, send a thank you card or e-mail to the person who interviewed you. Tell them you were grateful for the interview, and mention something specific that you learned while meeting with them. If you still have not heard back from the company in a week or so, feel free to contact them to follow-up on your meeting.
Remember, even if you don’t get a position, an interview is a great opportunity to practice your interview skills. In addition, interviews introduce you to new people and help you learn about area industries. In the best-case scenario, an interview will lead you to a new position that you love.