In a tough  job market, it can be very challenging to know how to maintain a competitive edge. 

After several resume submittals, you finally get the call that you have been waiting for, a job interview.   No matter the situation, you should ALWAYS take the time to prepare in advance so that you are 100% for you interview.

Here are some tips and questions to keep in mind in order to help you master your interview:

Preparing For Your Interview

  • Know the name of the company, the interviewer and their title.  You will need this for a thank you note. 
  • When sending a thank you note, a personal hand-written note still goes a LONG way!
  • Research the company and industry.  Look at all of the company press releases and even financial information if it is a public-traded company to determine the overall success on the company.
  • Prepare questions to ask during the interview and practice your responses. Perhaps you can find someone that you can practice with the night before.
  • Know your three strengths and a specific example that demonstrates where they have been a benefit to an employer.
  • Think about one or two weaknesses and what you have done to successfully overcome them.
  • Stress your achievements and records.
  • Do not make derogatory remarks about previous or present employers.
  • Always conduct yourself as if you are interested in the position.

Dress For Success

  • Dress in neat, clean and conservative business attire.
  • Select well shined shoes, minimal jewelry and accessories.  For women, low heeled shoes are best. 
  • Wear only light perfume or cologne.
  • Too little is always better than too much.
  • Do not expose any visible tattoos and/or excessive body piercings.

Here are some great questions that you should establish solid and concise responses for and remember that you can always role play with someone that you know so that you are completely prepared to respond.

Questions You May be Asked

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What did you like best/least about your last position?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
  • How would your last supervisor describe you?
  • Why do you feel that you would be an asset to this company?
  • What three things are most important to you in a position? In a company?
  • Describe the perfect work environment?
  • Give an example of how you successfully worked under pressure in your last position?
  • How would you handle an irate customer?

Note: If asked about your salary requirements, you should always express your flexibility in accepting an offer that is commensurate to your skills and experience.   Let your interviewer know that you are open and flexibility to the salary range being offered for the position.  Having this flexibility will not only impress the interviewer, but will provide the opportunity that you need to demonstrate your capabilities once hired.   If you feel you are the best fit for the position, all you need is the chance to get your foot in the door.  DON’T LET SALARY GET IN THE WAY OF THE OPPORTUNITY!!

It’s always a good idea to have a few questions in mind to ask your interviewer as the answers will give you additional insight on what to expect if you are hired for the position.  Also, it’s a great way to impress the interviewer by demonstrating your desire to know more about the position and how you see yourself in contributing to the overall success of the company.

Questions You May Want To Ask

  • What would you expect from me in the first three months?
  • What qualities make a person successful in this position? In this company?
  • How would my performance be evaluated?
  • What are the three biggest challenges that I would face in the first year with the company?
  • What economic or global factors effect the company’s long-term growth?  Short-term growth?
  • Why is this position available?
  • What was the background of the person who was most successful in this order?
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • What concerns would you have about me fitting into your company?
  • What is the next step in the interview process? Can we schedule that today?
  • Who else can I meet with today?

Remember to smile, be confident and enthusiastic.   If you think that you are the best fit, don’t be afraid to ask for the job!!!

Arisha Williams, Director of Sales

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