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Tips for a Successful Interview
Congratulations! You did it – your resume wowed a potential employer, and you landed an interview. Now it’s time to focus on how to make that interview a success. Keep reading for some tips on how to make that happen.
Before the Interview
The first steps to having a successful interview come way before the interview even begins.
It takes preparation and a big chunk of time researching your future employer. Be sure to clean up your social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) to ensure that everything posted is something that you’d want your employer to see. There are many resources on the internet for practice questions and even sample answers to turn a negative question into a positive response.
It’s important to feel comfortable, so dress for the part. Try to find photographs of employees to see how they dress and get a feel for the company’s culture. If you’re unsure of the company’s dress code, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Once you have a feel for what you’re going to wear, lay your clothes out the night before, along with a copy of your resume and a portfolio, if necessary.
During the Interview
Bring a notepad and pen to the interview, along with questions that you want to ask the interviewer at the end. Arrive early, and if you’re nervous, try listening to some music or walking around the block.
So, now it’s finally time! Walk into the interview with confidence, give a firm handshake, and formally introduce yourself. Answer each question calmly and just be yourself. Make good eye contact throughout the entire interview and write down any questions you may think of to ask after the interview. If a question catches you off guard, stay calm and don’t use any fillers like “um, uh, hmm…” Simply take your time and think through each question.
Here are a few example questions to ask your interviewer:
- What is the biggest challenge someone in this position will face?
- What does an average day look like?
- What do you think the difference is between someone who has excelled in this position and someone who has not excelled?
Don’t forget to ask about next steps and the company’s timeline for filling the position – not only does this further convey your interest, but it can help quell any of that “why haven’t I heard anything yet?” anxiety.
After the Interview
Everyone loves to be appreciated, so write a thank you letter and mail it to your interviewer. If you’re working with a tight timeline, an email works, too. Thank the interviewer for his/her time for meeting with you, and let them know that you hope to be working with them in the future. This will also help them remember you even more, increasing your chances of getting the job.
Landing a new job and a higher salary
There are lots of ways to increase your income, but many of them include ideas that make you give up something in return. Weekend side jobs, upcycling and selling on Etsy, renting a room in your home, or getting paid to fill out surveys about your brand loyalty—they all require more of your time and attention, a luxury most people don’t have. Yes, they’re feasible, but difficult to manage while working five days a week in a full-time job.
Why not replace your current full-time job with one that’s higher paying? We know that’s easier said than done, but the job market is full of opportunity. In fact, in 2017, the ATL is ranked #6 on a list of the best cities for job seekers, according to NerdWallet.
Don’t know where to start? Resume not updated? Networking not your specialty? Regardless, the Jobvite Job Seeker Study says that 82% of you are up for a new position, so let’s get going!
Update your resume
Your resume is the first impression you make on a potential employer. It stands between you and the first step in the interview process. It needs to be an excellent representation of you, your abilities, and how you can contribute to the overall success of the company. For free tips, resume samples and templates, and even cover letters, check out Resume Help, Thumbtack, or Resume Genius.
Position yourself socially
According to Jobvite , 67% of job seekers used social media to find their current position. 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn, and 55% used Facebook. You might think Facebook is your mom’s social network, but if more than half of recruiters are using it to advertise positions, you may want to beef up, or clean up, your profile page. It’s also an excellent place to gauge corporate culture, as is Instagram, so get busy stalking the pages and stories of potential employers.
LinkedIn is a more logical place, given the depth of career and job search networking available to you. It’s the largest professional network on the internet. You’ll be able to connect with employees of companies you’re interested in and position yourself to more likely be found by a recruiter.
Consider adding more detail to your job history and use your profile headline to your advantage. With 120 characters, describe who you are, what you do, and what professional benefit you can provide to the viewer. Use keywords that others might use when searching for someone in need of your services and skills.
Search online jobs
There are thousands of job sites on the world-wide-web, so we’ve identified some of the most popular. These allow you to search based on what’s most important to you like the type of job, title, salary, and your location. Try some of the more traditional sites like Monster and CareerBuilder,two of the largest online job boards. Another well-liked and highly rated site is Indeed,which pulls opportunities from thousands of sources including company career sites, newspaper classifieds, job boards, and associations. LinkUp only posts positions from company websites, so you’ll often get access to some unadvertised jobs. If you’re in a profession that has a site dedicated to your specific industry, like Dice or Idealist, be sure to take advantage of it, but don’t let it limit your search. Post your resume on multiple sites because there’s not one site that covers all your bases.
Don’t limit yourself to online resources, though. There are other opportunities, likely in your own backyard. Check these out:
Many churches in the metro Atlanta area offer high-attendance job networking groups. Roswell United Methodist Church offers one of the largest groups. Another popular association is Christ Centered Career Groups (C3G), which is sponsored by North Point Community Church. Marietta’s Catholic Church of St. Ann offers CareerQuest, and The Employment Network meets at St. Brigid Catholic Church. Be sure to check out your local church, clubs, or organizations to see if they offer similar opportunities.
Job fairs and career expos are held almost daily across Georgia. There are multiple websites that list current events and resources for job seekers. Bookmark them and check them often. Try Atlanta Event and Atlanta Career Fair Events.
Securing the next job of your dreams doesn’t necessarily mean changing your commute. Be sure to check out your current company’s job posting site. Let your manager or your Human Resources department know what your interests are. While it’s best not to broadcast your intention across the company, letting select others in on your career aspirations may be wise. After all, it’s in the best interest of the company to retain talented employees.
Start building relational capital with other managers now. Simply meeting for coffee or lunch will give both of you a chance to get to know each other, and your initiative could bring more attention to your qualifications and your contribution to the company. You’ll never be noticed if you’re quietly eating your leftovers in the break room.
Dress for success
At the risk of stating the obvious, dress like a successful person in your profession. Polish your shoes and paint your nails. While qualifications should outweigh appearances, there’s only one chance to make a first impression. If you want your future employer to think you have it all together, that you take pride in yourself, and you care about the details, be sure you convey that message every way you can. It’s subtle, but hey, we’re approaching it from all angles here.