What To Do Before, During And After Your Interview

Elizabeth Witbeck

What To Do Before, During And After Your Interview

Getting ready for an interview takes a lot of work. It is important to be prepared in order to have the best chance of success. In this article, we discuss the things that you can do before, during and after your interview to make sure that it is successful.

Before Your Interview

Do your research
Learn all you can about the company that you are interviewing with. Find out how long the company has been in existence, and what role they play in the local economy. Find out what kinds of changes have happened recently inside of the company. Learn more about the position that you are applying for – is this a brand new position, or is somebody stepping out of this role? Learn about the specific responsibilities you would be expected to take on in the role.

Come prepared with information regarding salary. Good places to do research on the business would be their own website, local newspaper websites, and review websites such as Yelp, LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor. It is important to have as much information as possible about the role you are applying for.

Prepare questions
Many people assume that an interview is like an interrogation session, where an interviewer asks you a bunch of questions to see if you are the right fit. This is not the case. Interviewing is a two-way street, where you are both trying to figure out if you should work together. It is important for you to prepare a set of questions that you genuinely want the answers to.

Good examples of questions to ask would be “What is a typical day like in this position?” “Describe the culture of the company” and “What types of people succeed in this position?” Remember, do not bring up salary or benefits until the hiring manager does so.

Get directions
Everybody wants an employee that is reliable and prepared. Getting lost at your first interview shows that you are the exact opposite of this. Be sure to ask for exact directions to where your interview is going to be located.

If it is possible, you may even want to consider going to the interview location beforehand, in order to scout it out. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of extra time to get there. That way if you do get lost, you won’t run late.

Make a good first impression
It is important to eat a full meal before you go on your interview. Eating will improve your memory and concentration. Be sure to wear a suit, a blouse and skirt, or other business attire. Make sure that your clothing is properly fitted, dry cleaned and free of wrinkles.

Stick with neutral colors such as black, gray, white and navy blue. This will show to the interviewers that you are serious about the position.

Be sure to practice good hygiene, such as taking a shower and shaving. Refrain from putting on cologne or perfume if you normally wear these, as some people are very sensitive to odors.

During The Interview

Why should I hire you?
Remember there is one question on a hiring manager’s mind, and that is “Why should I hire this person?” Your job in an interview is to convince the hiring manager that you are the best person for this job. Let them know how your past experience fits in perfectly with what this job position requires.

Give specific examples of what you have done in past jobs. Questions that are often asked include “Tell me about a time when you had to work in a team” “Tell me about a time you didn’t get along with a coworker and how you resolved it” and “What do you think your biggest strengths are?”

Act enthusiastic
Be sure to emphasize your excitement for this specific position. Often people send out their resumes to any job opening, hoping that if they send them to enough people, they will eventually get an interview somewhere. It is important to let the hiring manager know that you are genuinely interested working at their company.

Tell them the exact reasons why their business interests you. This will make you stand out from the pack of copy-and-paste interviews they have.

Build Rapport
Many people seem to just “click” with each other upon meeting; that is how personalities work. There are, still, things that we can do to build rapport with one another. Use small talk and try to identify common ground with the other person. Whether it is your love of ice hockey or jazz, people enjoy talking to others that share similar interests.

Telling a funny story can be a good idea, because everybody enjoys laughter, and it will help ease your tension if you are nervous. Mirroring a person’s body language and speech pattern is another way that we can build rapport.

After The Interview

Send a follow up note
After the interview, be sure to send a follow up email to the person you interviewed with. If you interviewed with multiple people, send an email to each person. Do not send the notes by snail mail.

It’s a good idea to get the business cards of the person you spoke with for this purpose, or you can sometimes find this information online. In the note, be sure to give your thanks to the hiring manager.

Also, use the note as an opportunity to write down anything you may have forgotten to say in the interview. Reiterate your past experience and exactly why you are the best fit for the position.

Move on
Once the interview is over, it is over. There is no point in sitting around on the couch waiting for a phone call or email asking you to accept the position. You need to go about your daily routine. Send your job application into more companies. Visit job fairs.

The Decision
A business should tell you when to expect to hear back from them regarding next steps. If they don’t offer this information themselves, it is reasonable for you to ask at the end of your interview when you should expect to hear back. If it has gone past the date that they said they would contact you, then it is appropriate to wait at least two more weeks before contacting them to ask what their decision is.

Remember that businesses have many other things going on besides hiring and often get delayed.

You will eventually find out if you received the position, or did not.

If you did, congratulations! If you did not, remember that the perfect job is still out there somewhere.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

Join The Discussion - 1 Comment

  1. Nouman Younas says:

    Brief and important article for fresh graduates and students who are thinking to appear in an interview.

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