Interview Tips – 12 Tips to Keep in Mind
With 15+ years experience in the IT Staffing industry I’ve prepped thousands of people for interviews. Here are some basic Interview Tips to keep in mind before your next interview.
I live by this in my personal and professional life. There are no benefits of pretending you’ve done something that you haven’t. In time, the truth will surface. Most companies that find out you are lying during your screening process will end your interview process immediately.
Arrive at the interview location 15 minutes before your interview. This will allow you to gather yourself and thoughts and not be rushed or flustered if you arrive last minute or late. Don’t actually go to reception to check in until 5 minutes before your meeting.
Research the Company/Interviewer
Make sure you read up on the company and person(s) interviewing you before your interview. You should find information on their website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Google, LinkedIn, etc. Know how the company generates revenue, their focus, their competitors and about their industry in general. Also, know who is interviewing you, their background, how long they’ve been with the company, their role, etc. By knowing who is interviewing you and their title you will be better able to understand what areas of your experience they will be most interested in so you can highlight those points in your interview.
Review your Experience
Even though you know what you have done in your various jobs it is amazing how much better you will present if you go through your work experience details ahead of time. As an example, having details of a project (purpose of project, length, number of people in the team, and what you did to contribute to the success of the project) fresh in your mind and being able to explain them without hesitating or pausing to remember will result in you presenting as more confident and knowledgeable. It will also get things started off in a good direction.
Know the Job you are Interviewing for
You should have thoroughly read through the job description of the role you applied to and are being interviewed for. This is critical! You will definitely be asked about your experience with the various items this employer mentioned they are looking for in the job description. Before the interview, for each skill they require, you should think through which projects/companies you used that skill for in the past and some basic relevant details (how long was the project, how many people were on the team, how did you use the required skill on the project, etc).
Have some Good Questions to Ask
Make sure you have some good questions to ask the interviewer about the company, role, their experience, etc. This shows you have interest in the company and you have prepared for the interview.
Know the Dress Code/Hygiene
You want to present yourself professionally and you don’t want to be dressed more casual than the people you are meeting with. So find out what the dress code is. This sounds obvious but it needs to be said. Make sure your breath is in check, deodorant is on, you aren’t wearing white socks with dress shoes and your shoes are polished. Your attention to detail is something that will be noticed.
Make sure to give a good amount of eye contact to the person(s) interviewing you. Not looking someone in the eye can be interpreted as you having something to hide and not being trustworthy.
Body Language/Non Verbal Cues
They say over 70% of communication is nonverbal. Make sure you present yourself as engaged and interested.
Take a Copy of Your Resume with You
It is possible they might not have a copy of your resume handy so it’s always a good idea to bring a hard copy. Also have references ready.
Don’t Bad Talk your Previous Employers
It’s never a good idea to talk negatively about previous employers. Some hiring managers will immediately disqualify you from their job opportunity.
Don’t Bring up Money/Benefits until Later in Process
In a first interview you want to focus on learning more about the company and the role and to let them learn more about the skills you bring to the table. Save the $$ and compensation until later.