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6 Steps to Ensure a Killer Interview

Posted on October 28, 2014 in Recruiting 101

One would think going to an interview well prepared is a no brainer. However, as an online media recruiter I’ve learned that this is just not the case.  That being said, I wanted to take some time to break down the few key steps one should take to ensure a killer interview.

Before the interview-

RESEARCH as much as possible about your prospective employer. You should have a general understanding of how they got where they are and where they see themselves in the future.  You should also have an idea of their overall mission and most importantly, why you want to be a part of it!  In addition to the company’s website and press releases, you should talk with people you know in the industry for further insight.  You should also know some background information on who you’ll be meeting, especially knowing their position within the company. 

Make a list of meaningful questions.  This step is undervalued and in some cases feared, as some believe asking questions will make them look ignorant.  Questions are a natural part of our everyday conversations and are an essential way for us to gain a deep knowledge about the company.  In an interview, asking probing questions can convey levels of interest, understanding and preparation. 

Know what’s on your resume. You should be able to exemplify how your experiences have prepared you for this opportunity and how they can benefit your potential employer. This conversation usually takes place following the initial small talk.

Make sure you ace the basics.  Things such as body language and eye contact can say a lot about a person. On that note, give a firm handshake, sit up straight and look polished.  There’s nothing worse than a misbuttoned shirt or a messy tuck-in. 

When you’re asked a question, make sure you’re truly listening.  If they ask a challenging question, give some thought to your answer.  Taking a minute to give a more concise answer is crucial, even if it means a temporary lull in conversation.  It’s important to stay positive and relevant. 

As you wrap things up, make sure to grab a business card with their contact information.  You should always write a thank you note, and do so in a timely fashion.  If you don’t write a thank you, I can assure your competition will. 

If you can check off all of the above, you’re in good shape.  It’s important to remember that if you aren’t doing your research or sending a thank you note, somebody else is.