You’ve submitted your resume for that great open position that you found and have just hung up the phone after agreeing to an in-person interview. What now? Now your work begins to get yourself ready!
There are several things that you can do to prepare for your interview and ensure that you are able to present yourself with poise, confidence and the skills to get the job done.
- Research the business: who works there currently (e.g., check their website or other business related networking sites)?, what size of an office is it?, what is the culture of the office like?, does it specialize in a particular type of care?
- Network: are there industry association meetings that you can attend to meet current or
past employees of the office?; can you meet others that know the office staff that would be willing to make an introduction for you?
- Review the job description: what skills are highlighted that you also possess that you can highlight during the interview? What prior work experience do you have that aligns to the responsibilities of the position? What stories can you share about your experiences that demonstrate how you are a good fit for the role?
- Evaluate: What is unique about your skills and experiences that will enable you to stand out from others seeking the same position? Think about how you will highlight these capabilities during the interview.
- Assess: what questions do you have about the role, office, culture, schedule, etc. that you want to be prepared to ask? Write them down and bring them with you to the interview.
- Print: print a few copies of your resume on a good quality paper to take with you to the interview.
How you present yourself and communicate during the interview will affect your potential employer’s perception of you. First impressions are formed quickly and can be difficult to change.
- Appearance: be sure to dress appropriately for the position (e.g., clean and pressed suit, dress pants, dress, button-up shirt and tie, sports coat, etc.)
- Be aware of your nonverbal/body language: make eye contact, smile, lean forward to show interest, provide a firm handshake, don’t cross your arms in front of you, manage your facial expressions to communicate openness and interest
- Tone of voice/pace of speech: use inflections and vary your tone of voice when speaking, talk at a reasonable pace and avoid rambling, run-on sentences
- Answer questions directly: when answering questions, use the STAR approach: describe the Situation, or context of your example; Task, what you were trying to achieve; Action, what you did; and Result, what the outcome or impact was of your actions. Framing your answers this way gives the interviewer a good sense of your experience level and the impact that you have had in situations similar to what you will encounter in the position.
- Ask questions: ask questions of the interviewer to learn more about the role, company, office, culture, schedule, etc. Also ask about next steps in the hiring process and when they plan to make a decision. This shows that you came prepared and that you are interested in learning more about the opportunity.
Engaging in a few follow-up steps will help to ensure that you are remembered after the interview.
- Send a thank you note: soon after your interview send a thank you note to each person that you interviewed with. Many candidates today send a thank you message via email, while some still prefer to send a hand-written note through the mail. Regardless of the method you choose to use, sending a thank you should always be a part of your interviewing process.
- Check-in periodically: based on the timeline that was shared with you during your interview, put a couple reminders on your calendar to check-in with the hiring manager to understand the status of their decision making process and let them know of your continued interest in the position.