Interview Tips - Part I

Preparing for the Interview

Sep 24, 2019


You sent out your resume and now you have landed an interview.  Oh no!  It’s not uncommon to get nervous when preparing or thinking about your interview.  The following tips will help alleviate the tension and get you prepared for anything!  

RESEARCH THE COMPANY: 

This is a key difference that will set you apart from others. By thoroughly researching the employer, you can increase your chances of making a positive and memorable first impression.  Research shows that recruiters respond better when the applicant is familiar with their company.   

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

  • What are the services or products they provide?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • How successful is the company?  What are their sales? Assets?
  • What is the size of the company? How many employees? Locations?
  • How long has the senior staff been there?  Longevity or does it seem like a lot of turnover?
  • What is the company mission statement?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • Are they a private, family-owned company or publicly-traded corporation?
  • What is their Google review score? Are they all negative or mixed with positive.  Remember, more people will post negative statements than positive ones.
  • Any awards? What are they? 

SOURCES:

  • Company website
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Google Search (articles, reviews, etc.)
  • Social Media
  • Magazines
  • Trade Journals
  • Word of mouth (Do you know someone that has worked or is working there).  

PREPARING FOR THE INTERVIEW:

  • Dress your best. Black or navy dress or suit (with a tie); minimal jewelry; no perfumes or scented lotions; hair should be clean and trim; Men: facial hair should be clean-shaven or neatly trimmed.
  • Bring copies of your resume, letters of reference, transcripts, samples of your work, driver’s license, social security card, and any certifications you may have.
  • Be prepared to defend your resume, to answer questions in a "net" fashion.
  • Google the interview location and know how to get there - before the morning of the interview.
  • Be sure to brush your teeth or use a breath mint before your interview.  NO gum chewing.
  • Nervous?  Listen to your favorite song right before you go in.  Something that gives you confidence and makes you feel good.   

THE INTERVIEW:

  • Announce yourself 5 to 10 minutes early; be nice to the receptionist (the interviewer will ask everyone you encountered about you).
  • Make a strong opening - good eye contact, smile, firm handshake, and posture.
  • Project a high level of enthusiasm and energy.
  • Ask open-ended questions, ones that elicit discussion and that cannot be answered with a yes or no. This will demonstrate interest in and comprehension of what has been discussed thus far.
  • Keep a nice dialogue going; do not talk too much.
  • Make a strong close (“Thank you for your time.” "I am very interested; I am looking forward to the next step", etc.).  

OTHER POINTS:

  • Most clients make decisions that are based on chemistry (50%) and technical skills (50%).
  • Never complain about your current or past employers.
  • If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification.
  • Do not bring up money or benefits. If salary comes up, state that the opportunity is the most important factor in their decision criteria. If the interviewer pins you down, give a salary range.
  • Sell your USPs (Unique Selling Points) – the skills and attributes that make you stand out from other candidates.
  • Maintain a positive attitude at all times.
  • Always give it your best effort. A lot of clients have multiple openings and you may be considered for another area if you impress them.
  • Ask when a decision will be made and follow up.
  • Thank everyone you interview with and get a business card (if possible).
  • Send a thank-you card or e-mail (check grammar and spelling carefully).  

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Celebrating 40 years in staffing excellence! Contact us today.   


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