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Tips to Navigating Interviews

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

It is no secret, searching for your ideal career can take a lot of effort and preparation under normal circumstances, but in today’s job market there are new unexpected hurdles. There will be challenges throughout the journey but taking time to get organized and be prepared for your interview can help set you up to succeed.

1. Updated Resume

Your resume is the first impression most companies will get of you and your work experiences. It is that your resume is updated as well as triple checked for errors. Most companies use your resume to judge if you will be a good fit for their position, as well as a resource to find your contact information to potentially call back. Make sure your resume is to the point and includes extracurricular activities such as volunteering, team involvement and leadership roles inside and outside of your previous careers. Have a friend or trusted associate check over your resume for typos and grammar errors.

2. Dress to impress

First impressions are a very important part of the interview process (for both applicant and interviewer!). Make sure you are dressing for the role you want! Ask questions to the administrator who helped schedule your appointment. Is the position going to require business professional attire? Or business casual? Make sure you set the tone for the interview with your first impression! In a world of zoom and facetime calls, make sure you are prepared to BE SEEN. Nothing says “not a good fit” to an interviewer like an applicant who was not prepared to share their camera during a zoom interview.

3. Research the company, and prepare questions for your interview

As a business owner, I have done my fair share of interviews. The biggest red flag for me as an interviewer is when the applicant is unaware of the position they applied for with my company. General questions about the position are completely acceptable, and expected, but you should know the position you applied for. Make sure you research the company, so you can be prepared to answer questions regarding the company, as well as ask questions to the interviewer that shows you prepared for your meeting.

4. Personal Presentation and Eye Contact matter

Just as first impressions matter, your continued attention during the interview is just as imperative. With virtual interviews, you should approach the one on one the same as you would an in-person interview. Making sure that you are not slouched into the chair during your interview and are sitting up and being involved in the interview, show the manager that you are excited and involved in the interview process. Applicants that maintain eye contact with the manager throughout the meeting come across more excited and engaged in the conversation. Make sure that though you may be nervous, you continue to engage in the conversation. For phone interviews, engagement is just as important. Both interviewers and applicants can tell if the other person is not “tuned-in” to the interview. Be sure to put away distractions and take notes if necessary.

6. Relax & be yourself!

Your personality and your smile are your business card! Make sure they both shine through during the interview process. There is no need to pretend to be someone or something you aren’t to land a job! Just be you and let your personality shine through! Don’t underestimate the power of your smile, it most definitely can be heard over the phone!

7. Follow up

Following up after your interview is also a great idea! It lets the management team know that you are serious and very interested in their open position. Reach out to the administrator that originally helped schedule your interview, or directly to the manager if you have their contact information. Make sure to follow up during business hours and keep it short, sweet and professional.

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