Have you ever wondered, “What is the secret to getting that sought after position?”
Perhaps you’re a job seeker trying to make sense of the current job market … or you’re a service professional seeking to land more clients.
Following are some inside tips from human resource executives and hiring managers that can prepare you for an interview – with that prospective employer or client:
- Do your homework. Never ask the interviewer to tell you about their business. Take time to find out everything there is to know before you arrive for the interview. The Internet offers a wealth of information, so read up and appear well informed. This needs to be done more than five minutes before the interview.
- Dress professionally. Decision makers make quick judgments and you won’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Always looking your best by dressing appropriately for the position.
- Kindness matters. Be polite to everyone you encounter from the moment you leave your car in the parking lot to when you exit the interview. People talk and word of your positive attitude and politeness will get around.
- Properly greet the interviewer. Make sure you know the decision maker’s name and how to properly pronounce it. Be sure to give a firm handshake upon introduction. Others take note of a weak handshake so make it count.
- Be professional. Always act professionally by asking relevant questions, using proper grammar and keeping good eye contact with each person you encounter at the business.
- Keep conversations work centered. If you’re asked to tell about yourself, keep your response work related. Steer clear of sharing personal life dramas. However, if the interviewer chooses to spend 45 minutes talking about themselves, let them. They will come out of the interview thinking you are a great listener and a wonderful candidate.
- Never interrupt. Steer clear of being the cause of any disruption during the interview. Don’t just silence your cell phone, turn it off!
- Avoid scheduling conflict conversations. As unfortunate as it is, many people do not want to hire people with young kids so avoid going on and on about your precious little ones at your first meeting. This goes for religious/volunteer obligations as well. Although these may be very important aspects of your life, the interviewer may automatically think scheduling conflicts.
- Use reliable references. Make sure the people you choose to list as references are going to paint a very positive picture of you. Only use someone as a reference if you are certain they he or she recommend you.
- Send a note of gratitude. Be sure to send a thank you note within three days of the meeting. In this day of instant messaging, you will be a stand out among other candidates if you take the time to send a short hand written thank you note.
- Keep working. Hiring managers report that if an applicant has been unemployed for more than half a year, they’re likely to be viewed as unemployable, assumed to have already been dismissed by others as a candidate. If you have lost a job, work hard at finding a new one. If you are looking for a new job, stay employed while searching. If you’re selling your services, refer to your ongoing work with other clients.
- Network! A personal referral lends a great deal of credibility. No matter how nice your resume or references look or how much experience you have, who you know really does make a difference. So, get out there and network!
- Often times our best ideas and practices come to us from another field. Borrowing these tips from human resource experts not only help job seekers, but also can help service professionals land more clients.