Summer is a big season of transition, and people often find themselves looking for new work opportunities during this time. Should you land an interview — whether in your current organization or in a new one — what you say and do both verbally and nonverbally during the interview process could change the trajectory of your career.
Here are a few ideas on how to have a great interview and what interviewers are looking for in their prospective employees.
Research. And then research some more.
Before going into an interview, you should do as much research as you can on the organization and the interviewer. What’s the organization’s culture like? How is it doing financially? What common interests do you have with the interviewer? Answering these questions will help you be more prepared during the interview and boost your confidence.
Become a customer.
Consume the product or service they are providing. Know the heartbeat of the organization along with facts.
Don’t forget the basics.
First impressions still mean a lot; so, make sure you’re dressed for the part, make eye contact, and limit distractions (turn your phone on airplane mode). They’re looking to see how you conduct yourself both professionally and personally to gauge whether you’ll be a good fit in the organization.
Do a mock interview.
It might feel odd, but doing a mock interview before the real deal may help you boost your confidence. Find a friend who will ask you questions you might encounter in the interview. This way, you’ll be able to give concise, confident answers on the spot during the interview.
MNTR mentors and interviewers, David Farmer and Shane Benson, shared a few of their top tips for interviewees. Here are two of their recommendations.
Remember it’s not only about hard skills.
Hard skills are teachable or learned abilities that are usually easy to quantify. For example, if you are a graphic designer, the skills you have to use for particular design programs are hard skills.
Soft skills are the basics, as mentioned above. Do you begin the interview with a smile and a firm handshake? Are you staying connected and engaged in the interview? Will you fit well with the team? Are you kind? Sometimes, you can have the best qualifications, but if you don’t fit the culture of the team or organization, it may not be the best fit.
Don’t think the interview is over the minute you walk out of the building.
Handwritten notes thanking the interviewers for their time and consideration make a lasting impression. Try to send the thank you letter no later than two days after your interview.
Additionally, if the interviewer offered resources or tips to consider, let them know how you’ve acted on them and how it’s impacted you. For example, if they recommend a book, get a copy and begin reading it. Share something that stood out, and let them know you look forward to finishing the book.
Making an intentional effort to prepare for your interview could land you your dream job and change everything. Now, go! Get prepared!