You've created the perfect resume and cover letter. You've applied for the position and perhaps even used a few networking strategies to get your resume read by a "real person." You seem to be a great candidate and they've contacted you for an interview. Now it gets fun. Yes, fun.
The interview is truly the "make or break" moment. This is your opportunity to stand out from the competition. Interviews allow you to prove how you provide value to the organization. Interviews also allow you to learn how you might see yourself fitting into the organization.
- Know yourself. We often think we can "wing it." Don't. Know what you want, what you have to offer, and how your skills fit with the organization
- Know the organization. Do your research. Simple. Get on the internet, network with people who work there or know someone who works there. Learn about them. Do you see yourself working there? Why? in addition, you must know the industry. You must also know the people in the organization. Incorporate these answers into the interview
- Anticipate questions. You can probably anticipate 90% of all questions that will be asked. For starters, tell me about yourself. What do you know about our organization? Why do you want to work for our organization? What interests you about the position?
- Dress for the part. You don't have to spend a ton of money for a suit, but you should have a suit. Wear minimal jewelry and use minimal amounts of perfume/aftershave (if possible, avoid altogether).
- Treat everyone you meet with respect. This is a "no brainer" but you'd be surprised. From the moment you get on the property to the moment you are leaving, you are on your interview. You never know if the person you didn't hold the door for at the elevator is the person who will be interviewing you.
- Follow-up after the interview. Sending a "thank you" has become a lost art. Do it. Whether it's by email, a handwritten note or a typed letter, thank everyone you meet for their time and consideration. Too many people don't send thank yous so you'll be remembered for following up professionally.
- Personal Story Matrix (Gotta Mentor). This matrix helps you define your professional, academic and personal experiences and can be the foundation for your elevator pitch to use in interviews, cover letters, and email introductions
- Top Oddball Interview Questions of 2009 (Glassdoor.com blog)
- 50 Worst of the Worst (and Most Common) Job Interview Mistakes (U.S. News & World Report)
- Interviewing mistakes that bright people make (Gotta Mentor).
- 10 best websites for research an organization (Gotta Mentor).
- 10 best websites to prepare for an interview (Gotta Mentor).
- Ace the interview advice
- 43 weird things said in job interviews (CNN)