Is one of your new year’s resolutions to improve your interviewing skills? Whether you’re a seasoned interviewer or entirely new to the job hunt process, interviewing effectively can be a challenge for almost any job seeker. Investing time and effort into your preparation will reap many great benefits, from building your confidence to making a stronger first impression on potential employers. As you embark on your job search this year, take note of these five top interview tips from the staffing experts at HH Staffing:
Research employers thoroughly.
No matter how many interviews you’ve gone on, it’s important to treat each interview with the same amount of preparation and attention. With every employer being different by nature, researching companies’ missions, values, and overall culture will be key to showing interviewers that you’re well aware of what their companies have to offer – and most importantly, why you’re a fit for their organization. There’s no excuse not to fully research employers through company websites, blogs, social media channels, and online news. Being able to cite specific assets of the company that appeals to you during the interview can set you apart from the competition while demonstrating to interviewers that you’re a serious candidate who’s genuinely interested in the opportunity.
Establish a personal connection.
Interviewers are people too, and the better you can connect with them, the more memorable you’ll be as a candidate. There are small things you can do to personalize your connection with an interviewer, such as greeting them by name, making direct eye contact, and sending a handwritten thank you note after the interview. Building a friendly yet professional rapport with human resource managers and other members of companies’ HR teams can help significantly in showing you have the interpersonal abilities to excel within the company’s culture. It will also show you have the people skills and emotional intelligence to work well with others in a team setting – something that’s critical to success in any job.
Make a travel plan.
One of the easiest things you can do to make a solid first impression is to arrive early to an interview. Part of your interview preparation process should include looking up the company address, reviewing the route, and calculating how much time it will take for you to get there. You’ll also want to consider your mode of transportation as you account for how much time you’ll need to your travels. For instance, if you’ll be taking an Uber during rush hour, you may want to request your ride well in advance of your scheduled interview time. Or, if you’re planning to take public transportation, check schedules online ahead of time and come up with a back-up plan in case of any unexpected delays. Thinking through your travel plans will allow you to focus on what really matters on interview day – yourself!
Engage in mental preparation.
When it comes to interviewing success, mind over matter is often key. Mental preparation before any interview can include practicing positive thoughts, reflecting on your accomplishments, making a list of your hard and soft skills, and practicing non-verbal communication. Writing down your thoughts and thinking deeply about why you’re applying to the organization can get you in the right headspace for promoting your qualifications and connecting your skills to the position’s responsibilities. Failing to collect your thoughts can result in feelings of nervousness and uneasiness as you enter the interview, potentially causing you to stumble upon your answers and feel caught off guard. Setting aside a “power hour” the day before your interview to mentally gear up can make all the difference!
Follow up in a timely manner.
It can be argued that following up after an interview is arguably just as important as the interview itself. Sending a thoughtful email or thank you note within one or two days after your interview will show the interviewer that you value their time and appreciate the opportunity to meet with them and be considered for the job. Furthermore, it will give you a chance to recap some of your credentials and emphasize why you’re an ideal candidate for the position. Once you send the message, it’s also a good idea to connect with the interviewer on LinkedIn so you can stay on their radar throughout the interview process. Plus, even if you don’t end up getting the job, it’s always worth staying in touch with new contacts from various companies. Often, hiring managers will consider you for future opportunities and reach out if they have your contact information on file.
As you can see, there are many steps you can take to set the stage for interviewing success. Not only will you become a better interviewee, but you’ll ultimately begin to feel more comfortable and confident sharing your qualifications and positioning yourself for your dream job.
Looking for new employment this year? Explore job opportunities across the country with HH Staffing!
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO, and Chief Servant
Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings a fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high-performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.