posted Friday, October 31, 2014 by Brianne Perea

6 TIPS TO A SUCCESSFUL JOB INTERVIEW

Getting noticed among a sea of resumes is only half the battle when it comes to landing your dream job. These fool-proof tips, however, will bring you 6 steps closer to scoring an offer for the position.

1.)    SPEND TIME ONLINE

Don’t just skim the ad. Spend time on the company’s website and social media pages even before sending your resume. This will help you determine if the company is a fit, allow you to write a thoughtful cover note, and compile insightful questions to ask during your interview. Hey, be confident, you WILL get the interview! 

2.)    DRESS THE PART

While business attire has become more relaxed, you want to make a good first impression, so give your outfit some thought. Dress smart and look polished. Stick to dark solids (a touch of color never hurts!). Ladies, make sure your nails are kempt, skip the perfume, and keep makeup clean and minimal.  Save the smoky eye and bright red lip for your “I got the job” celebration dinner with friends.

3.)    BE PREPARED

While you’re doing research on the company, jot down key details. As I’ve mentioned, use this info to develop insightful questions beyond - What are the hours? or What do you like about working here? Also, think about common interview questions and have a general sense for what you’ll say if you’re asked something like, What attracted you to this position? Why do you feel you’re a fit? What strengths do you feel you can bring to the company? or the dreaded, What are your weaknesses? Really give these some thought – ask others you’ve worked with if you’re not sure – and stay away from the cookie cutter responses. Give real life examples to support your answers.

My best advice? Read this column in the New York Times religiously: http://projects.nytimes.com/corner-officehttp://projects.nytimes.com/corner-office

4.)    TAKE NOTES

It’s time for the interview – what do you do? I’ve interviewed countless candidates that either don’t come to an interview with a notebook and pen or bring them, but don’t use them. Taking notes during an interview shows that you’re engaged, organized and interested. They are also a great resource when you’re writing a “thank you” letter. 

5.)    TMI OVERLOAD – Think of an interview like a movie trailer. They show just enough to get people to want to see the whole movie. In this case, say just enough to peak your interviewer’s interest and make sure to eloquently answer his or her questions. Don’t ramble! That can often throw off the flow of the interview and result in saying things you wish you didn’t. When it comes to talking about personal interests, keep it brief and topline, but make sure to note things that are truly intriguing. Tell them about your fascination with collecting vintage records or about how you’re training for the marathon. This shows you have passion and dedication. 

6.)    SAY THANK YOU

And really mean it!  Take time to write a thoughtful (HINT: Not just 2-3 sentences that say nothing meaningful) thank you note and reiterate why you feel you’d be a valuable asset to the company. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but there’s nothing like a neat hand-written note on nice stationary. Just be sure to mail it out the same day so it arrives asap. Thank you emails are ok, but I’m always impressed when someone takes the time to write out their thoughts on paper.

It’s also worth noting that you should send a thank you to your interviewer even if you’re no longer interested in the position. Let them know that you appreciated the meeting, but have decided to pursue other opportunities. Keep it positive and show them you valued their time because let’s face it – you never know where you may run into him or her next!