If you are looking for a job, one way or the other, you will eventually end up at the face-to-face interview. You may get there because of networking and end up interviewing with the directly with decision maker. Conversely, HR may pick up your resume off the job boards and you may end up in an interview chain. The first interview is usually via phone with someone from HR. This is followed by one or more interviews with middle management. This process will culminate in the interview with the decision maker/s.
OK! You have secured the interview. Most people make a basic mistake at this critical juncture. They relax and drop their guard. Do not make the mistake of assuming that you can simply walk into an interview and answer a few questions. Your goal at all interviews is to demonstrate unequivocally your interest and qualifications for the job. The key to acing an interview is to prepare and prepare well.
All interviewers have several criteria that they use to judge a candidate’s viability. Interviewers have many expectations of candidates for potential hire. They expect candidates to be well dressed. Well dressed does not imply flashy or expensive. Most organizations expect candidates to be appropriately attired for their interview. If you are male, you cannot go wrong with a plain white shirt, tie, dress pants and a sport coat with well-polished black dress shoes. For females, I suggest, a white or light colored blouse with dress slacks or a dress skirt and a jacket.
Organizations expect candidates to be poised, have a good posture and maintain eye contact. Do not stare at the person or persons interviewing you. However, make sure you maintain eye contact when answering questions. Above all, listen well. Some candidates make the mistake of thinking about what they are going to say next and drown out the words of the interviewer. Make sure you listen, paraphrase and/or clarify the questions if necessary before you answer. Exhibit confidence and maturity but do not give the impression of being cocky, brash, rude, or a know-it-all.
Before the interview, make sure that you know general information about the position for which you are interviewing. In addition, make sure that you understand the nature of business of the organization where you are interviewing.
Additional information on successful interviewing can be found in The Corporate America Survival Handbook. ISBN: 1598000942.