There's a lot to think about before you go into a job interview. Professional Career Coach Cathy Lanzalaco, owner of Inspire Careers in Willamsville shares some of her tips on how to nail any interview.
Before the interview
-Preparation is key to a successful interview
Lanzalaco says to make sure you know everything about your interview and you have the details organized.
- Outfit ready the day before
- Know the culture of the company by doing research. Is it corporate or casual?
- Location and time. Lanzalaco says to know the location, some people even drive to the interview location before the interview date to see how long it takes to get there.
- Who are you interviewing with? Ask who you are speaking with an do some research about that person on the company website or on LinkedIn.
- Research the company. Know the ins and outs and what the company does.
What to have with you:
- Multiple copies of your resume
- Coverletter printed out
- References, only give it to them if they ask for it
- Breath mints, not gum
- List of questions for after the interview
- Notes if you need them
-Anticipate the questions they will ask you. Lanzalaco says to think about the industry you are in and the position you are going into. She suggests googling common questions and having answers prepared before hand.
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Know your value. If you have anything concrete about the work you have done, ex. If you're in sales, have your metrics. Companies may also ask your about team building skills and how you work with people.
-Have specific examples of the kind of worker you are. -Practice your elevator pitch
- 45-60 second over view of who you are. Companies won't specifically ask for your elevator pitch, they will say "Tell me about yourself"
- Do not ramble about your personality, but focus on what has lead you here and why
Questions to ask at the end
-Lanzalaco says this is part of the preparation many people forget about
-She says, "The last thing you want to do is say nope I think you told me everything, because that implies you haven't been paying attention."
-Companies want you to ask questions, and it demonstrates you are very interested in the job
-Questions to avoid:
- Salary, benefits, time-off. More time for those down the road
- How would you define the culture here? How would employees define the culture here?
- What does success look like in this job in 30, 60 days in this role?
- Ask about team building
After the interview
-Write a "Thank you" card or email right after the interview so you can remember what you are talking about
-Take time to decompress
-Follow up after a few days and if you haven't heard anything in a week, call back
-Continue job search
-Lanzalaco says to only follow up twice, after that you could seem desperate