There is no denying that the most stressful aspect of trying to find work can be the job interview. Landing a job interview indicates that the employer views you as a suitable candidate. Now it is time to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward. Finding a way to ‘stand out in the crowd’ can be a challenge. Researching the company, conducting a mock interview, doing a trial run to find out how long it will take you to get there, reviewing your resume, choosing your interview clothes, and packing extra copies of your resume and reference page are all great strategies to prepare for the interview. Being able to outline your qualifications and provide examples of how you cope with challenges in the workplace will provide the employer with a better picture of how you might fit into their organization. Based on input from local employers, we have prepared a list to help you ensure that you are truly prepared for your next job interview.
- Respond to employer calls to schedule an interview. Answer the call or email immediately. Make sure to check you spam email folder so opportunities are not missed.
- Research the company. Understand their products and services. Be able to distinguish their niche and how they differ from their competition.
- Research your interviewers on LinkedIn. Gaining a better understanding of their background can help provide common areas of interest for your initial conversation. You may notice that you have similar contacts or are members of similar LinkedIn Groups.
- Be prepared (ie. references). Ensuring that you have all relevant documentation with you gives the impression that you are prepared and thorough.
- Understand that your interview starts the minute you walk in the door. Every staff you come into contact with is a possible reference point.
- Ignore your cell phone. Turn it off or put it on the vibrate mode so you are not distracted during the interview.
- Stop and think about the question before answering. Taking a moment to assess what the employer is looking for will help you to formulate a better answer. Small pauses and silence during an interview are acceptable.
- Be tactful when discussing negative situations with previous employers. We all have negative experiences where the job duties, workplace culture or business goals did not align with our expectations. How you describe these situations to an employer says a lot about your integrity, professionalism, problem solving abilities, and communication skills.
- Maintain eye contact. If this is intimidating for you, look for a focal point slightly off to the right or left hand side of the interview’s face. You will be looking in their general direction and still allowing yourself the opportunity to collect your thoughts between questions.
- Be yourself and be personable. So many employers are just looking for “the right person”. They may be open to training on the job and want to ensure that are a good fit with their existing staff and workplace atmosphere.
- Show what you can do for the employer – highlight the fit. Outlining relevant qualifications, experience, certifications, accomplishments and goals will help to demonstrate your value to the interviewer.
- Be respectful of the employer’s time. Answering your questions in a clear and concise manner will allow the interviewer to stay on schedule and ensure that your strongest attributes are highlighted.
- Ensure you have a strong attention to detail. The interview gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your organization skills to a prospective employer.
- Be honest in the interview. Highlight your availability and interest in more long term opportunities within the company.
We wish to thank our Career Week 2017 Employer Panel for sharing their hiring practices and recommendations. The panel consisted of AVNK Security, Bruce Maly Plumbing, Comfort Inn, Concentrix, East Side Marios, Holiday Inn, Stewart Homes, and Two Guys and a Truck.
For more assistance with your job search, book an appointment with a Career Counsellor at EPC or check our Workshops & Events section for upcoming dates.