I’ve been a manager a few times and have had to run dozens and dozens of interviews, as well as go through quite a few interviews myself for both initial hiring at a company and promotion opportunities within a company. Here are a few things I’ve observed over the years that are pretty universal when it comes to going from having your foot in the door and having an offer on the table.
Online you will be able to ferret every bit of information available to the public about the company and its leadership. There are going to at least be a few ‘standard interview questions’ asked of you and having responses that are specifically tailored to the knowledge you can garner will make you stand out among the other candidates.
2. Standard Questions
While your online search for ‘interview question,’ there are a bunch of standard ones and ones tailored more to your field. Study them both. When I say study, I mean study, like you would for an oral exam. Have answers ready for your interviewer. The utterance ‘Um…’ is the enemy. Everybody loves a decisive answer.
3. Bring A Resume
In this day and age of course your interviewer has the copy of your resume that you sent them via email. Doesn’t matter. You need to hand them a copy for them to glance at during the interview in case they have specific questions about something. Better to have it to offer than not have it at all.
A lot of jobs care a great deal about their company culture and whether or not you are a ‘fit.’ This literally translates to ‘do you play well with others?’ It matters. Your credentials are not enough. Sociability, likability, team player, and good communication and listening skills are vital to the success of certain departments and businesses. If these things didn’t matter there wouldn’t be an interview at all and people would just hire out of a pool of resumes. Be pleasant and show a good sense of appropriate humor.
5. Follow Up
Everyone says to follow up. This is by no means a new concept. But the way in which you follow up matters. Of course, only you will know after the interview which is the most effective and acceptable manner; email, hand-written, phone call, drop-by, etc. However, a light-hearted, professional email is the most common for business-type jobs. Write it as soon as you get home, show gratitude and give it a little personality. Keep showing them that charm.
I have hired unqualified candidates that did all of these things very well and not hired qualified candidates that failed in one or more of these areas. You know to dress nice and sit up straight, but being on the ball and engaging with a professionally sociable demeanor is probably the most important factor in securing a job or promotion.
Logan is a guest post blogger who writes about interview techniques, independent contractor jobs like working courier jobs and creative ways to generate passive income.