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You've Got an Interview, Now What?

Chandra Fox

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You've been spending hours getting your resumes and cover letters perfect and have sent your resume to everyone under the moon. Now, you've finally been contacted and asked for an interview. You really want this job, but you do not know what to expect in regard to the interview process. You wonder, "What type of interview will be ahead?" The following are examples and ideas that should help you to beat your competition and get the job that you are seeking.

Phone Interview

A phone interview is a typical first step. This is where the recruiter/HR manager/hiring manager further screens candidates after the resume review process. The first thing you want to do is be prepared. Once you make initial contact, they may want to conduct the phone interview at that very moment. So expect it. If you are contacted out of nowhere with no time to prepare, ask the person to allow you to switch to another line. Then regroup, go to a quiet place, get a copy of your resume and go into another room and tackle the interview with confidence.

It is important to have your resume in front of you so you can reference what you said in the resume. That way you are looking at what they are looking at - your resume. Have a pen and paper. Most phone interviews are determined by how you handled the call initially, how you are engaged in the conversation and how you respond to the questions. You must maintain professionalism and be sure you are focused on the call, not your surroundings.

Be sure you write down the recruiter's name (first and last) and ask them to spell it out for you. Also, get his/her e-mail address so you can send any correspondence easily (such as requested references or examples of a project you were involved with). Be positive and focus on what you can offer and what you've accomplished throughout your career. Be a good listener. Talking over a recruiter in an interview is not a good idea, be part of the conversation, but do not take over.

They will almost always ask questions similar to these:

Typical Interview Situation

After a successful phone interview, prospective employers usually want you to come in for an in-person interview. So this means you've passed the initial screenings, first your resume and second your phone interview. Now you are being called in for an actual sit-down interview. The key to remember: knowledge is power. Be prepared, research the company and identify basic job responsibilities of the title you are seeking so you can reference relevant skills that you have. In addition, ask anyone you know with industry experience about his or her job. That way you know which past responsibilities and accomplishments to emphasize.

When you go into the Interview there are four parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. They get to know
  3. You get to know them
  4. Closing the sale

Introduction

Positive, confident, firm handshake. Be sure you are projecting a strong self image. Be confident. Be sure you give NO negative body language - no crossed arms in front of you, no checking your watch or the clock on the wall, instead smile and nod as they talk.

Getting to know you

It is important to be engaged in the conversation. Make eye contact. Listen to the questions and answer everything in the most positive light. No negatives at all about previous employers, no matter how comfortable you feel with the interviewer.

Common questions:

You getting to know them

Maybe even take notes. This will allow you to gain enough information about the job and the thank you letter.

Common questions:

Closing the sale

This is where you leave a great impression. Reiterate your interest in the position and how the corporate culture is just what you are seeking. Re-shake their hand and genuinely thank them for allowing you to better learn about the company and position. You feel it would be a great fit.

If they don't tell you, ask: What is the process from here in terms of the interview process?

Get their business card.

Now you've completed the first few steps of your interview process, you can expect a few more interviews with all layers of management - the same thing basically each time with different levels of management. The more interviews you are granted shows that you are moving in a positive direction in the interviewing process. Don't feel like you need to change your methodology. Keep moving up until you are the last one left, you've surpassed your competition and are offered the new job.

 

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testimonials

Haley,

I am very pleased with both the resume and the cover letter. I have no changes to request. You have done an outstanding job! The questions you asked were very well designed to draw out the proper information and in turn develop a striking resume. The cover letter is also very well written. I feel thanks to you I will have a much better chance at getting a recruiter's attention and ultimately attaining the best job.

Michele