Job Interview Tips: How to Ace the Job Interview and Get Hired - Even in a Recession
By Jay Hofmeister
In this challenging economy, where our unemployment rate is high and you have many job seekers going after the same few positions that are actually available, it is very important to be prepared for the job interview. Many candidates are so glad their phone rang or they received an e-mail from Xyz Company requesting they come in for a meeting, that they totally forget to complete their job interview preparation.
Once You Get the Job Interview, Here Are Your Next Steps...
- Slow down and make sure you know the exact position that the company is interviewing for. Many companies have more than one position they are trying to fill and it is the candidate's responsibility to ask what position they will be interviewing for.
- Ask how the interviewing and hiring process will be handled.
- Get the names and titles of the people doing the interview.
- Once you have the names and titles of the people you will be interviewing with do a Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook search to gather information about each person. You want to find some common ground or interest for talking points in the interview.
- Complete thorough research on the company, their competitors, and any recent positive news that you may bring up in the meeting.
- Come up with a list of colleagues who may know what the company's culture is and ask them what they think of the position and see if they have insight to any of the interviewers that you will be meeting with from a personality perspective.
- Now, after all your research is completed, compile your list of ten to fifteen questions that will separate you from the competition.
- "In the first thirty, sixty, and ninety days what projects would you like to have completed and taken off your list?" When candidates go on interviews very rarely do they know for sure what the hiring manager is specifically looking for. This one question will give you valuable insight as to what is most important to them. If you can ask this one question very early on in the interview you have the blueprint as to specifically what is most important to them.
- "What one skill if mastered would add the most value to your department?" All companies now want to hire the best or someone that has the drive to be the best. By asking the question above, you show that you are driven to be the best. You will distinguish yourself as someone that is willing to go the extra mile, work hard and become a valuable asset to the company.
- "What challenges and opportunities is the company and the department facing?" Show your possible employer that you are interested in the company and that you are up for the challenge. This also gives you the chance to differentiate yourself from the competition. You can provide valuable insight on how you would handle the situation.
- "What are your company goals for the year and what are the department goals?" Everybody likes someone that is goal focused, so if you ask this question, you will standout.
- "What more can I tell you about myself to let you know that I am the right person for this job?" This one question can make or break your chances with the company. Why? Because you show sincere interest in the company and that you want the job. This also shows that you care and want to make sure all questions were answered thoroughly.
- One sure fire way to make yourself standout is to have thank you notes in your car and fill them out. Go back in and drop them off to the receptionist. Offer a sincere thank you and warm smile.
- Now, go home and make some notes about the key points discussed on the interview. Once your thoughts are on paper complete some research on what the key decision makers would find very interesting related to the position or company objectives. Create an addendum along with your thank you note thanking them again for the opportunity to discuss the open position. Do your very best to send this to them within 48 hours.
- After 72 hours if you still haven't received any feedback, call the hiring manager and either leave a voice mail or have a quick conversation stating again your sincere interest in working for their organization.
- If all else fails and the position has either been put on hold or the hiring manager can't make a decision, offer to come on board as an independent contractor, project based consultant, or for the entry level candidate as a free intern or co-op employee. The key is to make yourself standout and get your foot in the door.