NEWS + ADVICE
6 Interview Tips You’ve Probably Never Heard
Take a list of questions to ask the interviewer. By now you likely know that you should come to an interview prepared to ask relevant questions. Interviews are two-way communications so both sides need to share and gather information.
An even better strategy is to write those questions down and take them with you to make sure you cover everything. Take a portfolio to your interview with your list of questions. Ask the interviewer if they mind whether you take notes. Then you have an excuse to pull out your portfolio with your list of questions. Do be sure to pay attention so you don’t ask a question they have already answered. And be sure that the briefcase or portfolio you bring in to the interview is compact and organized. You don’t want to be fishing around for a pen and your portfolio in a large disorganized bag.
Your interview has already started. Your interview really begins when the interviewer first starts reading information about you or speaks to you on the phone. They are already forming opinions about you based on the information they read and what they hear. Then when you step through the front door for an in-person interview be pleasant and professional with every individual you meet – including the receptionist. Many hiring managers will ask everyone you come into contact with for their impressions about you.
Review your interviewer’s LinkedIn profiles. You know to research the company before an interview, but you should also research the individuals you’ll be talking to. If you do want to mention something from their LinkedIn profile – such as the fact that you both attended the same university – when you mention it reference that you saw it on their LinkedIn profile. It’s another way to demonstrate that you prepared for the interview.
Even if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile you can still do this research. Google the individual’s name followed by the word “LinkedIn” and you’ll find the public version of their profile. Depending on how the individual has managed their privacy settings, you may or may not be able to view information from their profile. Many professionals do leave some or all of their LinkedIn public profile settings visible from outside LinkedIn, so be sure to check.
Get the logistical details so you’re not too early. When you set up an in-person interview ask for the particulars regarding parking and security so you can make sure you allow enough time to get in position for the interview. This can be especially true when you’re interviewing with an agency. While you don’t want to be late, you also don’t want to show up too early. Many cleared job seekers arrive early due to the unpredictability of traffic. About 5-10 minutes before the scheduled appointment is a good time to check in at reception. If you arrive earlier get a cup of coffee or wait in your car if you can.
Make a personal connection with the interviewer. Getting a personal connection with an interviewer makes you memorable. If you have an interview right before lunch or at the end of the day, ask the interviewer for a local restaurant or coffee shop recommendation. Then — if you really go to the place they recommend – reference in your thank you note how you enjoyed their recommendation. First you’ll stand out because so few job seekers write thank you notes, but second you’ll be memorable because of the personal connection. If you’re meeting with a number of individuals don’t ask them all the same recommendation question, but do try to make a personal connection with all of your interviewers.
Find a good weakness. If you’re asked the question “What is your biggest weakness?” in an interview you always want a strategic answer that is honest, but that doesn’t put you in a bad light. An honest answer for many people is public speaking. Even people who speak regularly in public become nervous before doing so. Naturally if a big part of the job is making presentations and speaking in public this may not be your best answer. For many positions and job seekers it’s appropriate, accurate and something the interviewer can relate to.
Do you have any tips or strategies that you’ve used effectively in your cleared job search?This entry was posted on Monday, December 07, 2015 6:09 pm