Candidates | Resources
The interview process can be stressful. You will meet with multiple hiring managers with potential employers. You will need to sell your skills and talents, build rapport with the hiring manager, and have knowledge about the company and available position. Most importantly, you need to stand out among other candidates interviewing with the company. Here are some tips that can minimize stress and help you put your best foot forward.
Practice answering interview questions. Also, practice your responses to the typical job interview questions that most employers ask. Some examples are:
Why are you seeking a new position?
What type of supervisor do you prefer?
What are your long term career goals?
Give examples. Think of actual examples you can use to describe your skills. Providing concrete examples of how you have achieved successes is a great way to promote your candidacy.
One minute commercial about yourself – When the hiring manager says “So, tell me about yourself”, you want to have a one minute response prepared. This is a brief description of your work history and top skills that relate to the position. The response should be brief and more of a summary that will give the interviewer an idea of who you are and what you bring to the table.
Also, have a list of your own questions to ask the employer. (See the “Questions to Ask” link on our website under “Candidate Resources” for a list of excellent questions to ask a potential employer.)
Be ready for the question, “What do you know about this company?” Know the interviewer's name and use it during the job interview. Your Zwick + Associates Recruiter will give you the interviewer’s name and title prior to your interview. Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions.
Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. We recommend a suit in a basic color (black, navy, grey). Avoid loud colors like red, yellow, etc. Bring a nice portfolio with copies of your resume, as well as a pen and paper for note taking.
Be on Time
Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. Always map out the route from your house to the interview location and account for traffic. If necessary, take some time to drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there.
During the job interview, try to relax and stay as calm possible. Take a moment to regroup. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Listen to the entire question before you answer. Also, avoid talking to quickly or giving very lengthy answers. If you talk very quickly, you will appear nervous. Also, the interviewer may lose concentration if your answers are very lengthy. It is a good idea to give 1 – 2 minute answers and then pause. The interviewer may be forming their next question based on the response you are giving to the previous question. Taking a pause will allow the interviewer to guide the interview and ask their next question.
Show Your Knowledge
Make connections about what you know about the company when answering questions. When discussing your career accomplishments match them to what the company is looking for.
Always follow-up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position. If you interview with multiple people, send each one a personal thank you note. Send your thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. If the interview process will move very quickly, you can send an e-mail thank you note. If the interview process is lengthy, a handwritten note is a very good idea.