10 Resume & Interviewing Tips
You have an optimized, well defined, bullet pointed resume, and you’ve been called for the job interview. Now what? Well, being contacted for the interview, tells you that the company likes you. Now it’s time to close the deal and secure the job. Here are 5 tips that will help you sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager.
1. Arrive 15 minutes early
There's a popular military saying that goes "if you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late". Being early to your interview gives your potential employer a glimpse into what to expect from you should they hire you. It shows that you're prepared, and are to be taken serious. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Make it count!
2. Bring resume copies, a notepad, and pen
Show up with a least 3 copies of your printed resume; 2 copies for your interviewer(s) and 1 copy for you to reference. Be sure to use the same resume that you used when you applied for the job. Professionalism speaks very loudly. Print your resumes on resume paper and use a matching resume folder, if available. This paper is generally thicker and sometimes has an ivory tint. It's also important to have a notepad and pen. This is for you to take notes during the interview and during the tour. Again, this shows how serious you are about the job opportunity. This coupled with a firm handshake, is sure to set you off on the right foot.
3. Be prepared to give a solid introduction
A common starter interview is, "tel me a little bit about yourself". You need to be prepared for this and start strong. They have already seen your resume and will ask questions related to your experience later in the interview. This is the opportunity for you to sell yourself and get them pucker up and like you more. Tell your interviewer(s) who you are, what your strengths are, how you can provide value to the company. Speak on aspects that aren't listed on your resume.
4. Research the company
Interviewers know that you want the job, otherwise you wouldn't have applied for the job or shown up for the interview. But what can you truly offer the company or organization? Do you care about them or are you only looking for a way to make money? It sounds a bit off-putting, but these jobs want to know that you care about the company. Do your research. Understand the main focus of the company and the mission and values. Can you imagine how impressed your interviewer(s) will be if you know the company values and how you and your work align with them?
5. Know your resume and the job description through and through
If it's on your resume, be sure you understand and have knowledge on the subject or concept. If it's listed on the job position, assume that they will ask you about it. When companies list required skills, you have to be sure you understand that these are responsibilities that you must comprehend.
6. Be authentic
While its important for your interview(s) to like you and feel as though you're a good fit for the company, you want to be sure to be your authentic self.
7. Non verbal communication
Make eye contact with the interviewer for a few seconds at a time. Smile and nod (at appropriate times) when the interviewer is talking, but don't overdo it. Don't laugh unless the interviewer does first. Be polite and keep an even tone to your speech.
8. Give examples of your experience
When questioned, tie your answers to your skills, accomplishments, and especially your experience. If you have relevant experience for the role and/or have experience performing a duty that you are asked about, be sure to mention it. Trust me, they want to hear it. Employers want people who have the knowledge to complete a task and role. They love people who already have the experience having done so. They can spend less hours training and you may be able to offer suggestions to their systems that can improve efficiency.
9. Positivity wins
Companies want to hire problem solvers who overcome tough situations. If you’re feeling discouraged about your current job, focus on talking about what you’ve gained from that experience and what you want to do next
10. Question your interviewer
Enter the interview with a series of questions about the role and position. Be sure not to ask any questions that were answered during the interview. When the interview is over, give yourself the best chances of moving forward by using what you should expect next.
BONUS TIP: Followup
Before you leave the interview, ask for the business card of the person performing the interview. If you interview in the morning, send a follow up email the same day. If you interview in the afternoon, the next morning is fine. Thank the interviewer for this time and be sure to mention a few of the notes you took during the interview.