By Anusha Shrivastava, Ph.D.
Getting to the interview stage of the hiring process is an achievement in itself but now, you’ve to perform even better to get that job offer.
Start preparing for the interview by conducting research on the company. Aside from checking their website, see if you can get reviews on other sites or from former employees. Reach out to alums who may share candid insights about the company’s work culture.
If you know who is going to conduct the interview, check his or her LinkedIn profile. If it is a panel of people, you’ll have to check each person’s profile and figure out if they have anything in common with you like having attended the same undergrad school or playing the same sport. You can often check with human resources who the interviewers will be and can then be better prepared for the meeting.
Check the address of the interview venue. Don’t show up at the wrong office and then try to rush to the correct location. Aim to arrive at least half an hour to 45 minutes ahead of time just in case there is a delay during your commute or at the security line in the lobby.
Always dress formally. Even if the company culture is such that the employees are walking around in shorts, wait till you get the job before you show up in shorts! You are better off being overdressed than showing up looking more casual than the interviewers.
Carry multiple copies of your resume. Don’t assume that the interviewer will bring a copy of your resume to the interview. It is your job to be prepared and carry resumes and any other document you think may show that you are a strong candidate for the job.
Have a pitch ready about why you want the job and why you think you are the perfect fit for it. Show passion for the position. Try to convince the interviewer that you will do the job to the best of your ability. Be prepared to talk about yourself, your past experience and any new projects you’ve worked on.
Take notes during the interview. If you get stuck at any point, say you will get back to the interviewer and keep the interview going. Ask questions which show you’ve done research on the company. Don’t ask questions about what’s easily available on the company’s website.
Watch the person’s body language and make eye contact throughout the interview. Smile, even though you may be feeling nervous.
After the interview, send a thank you note within 24 hours. If there were questions you could not answer during the interview, send the answer in the thank you note. Re-state why you want the job and highlight why you are a good fit for it.
Now, take a deep breath and get started!
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