Having a great resume is just half the battle in getting your dream job. The next step is nailing your interview. Here are a few tips on how to interview well.
Research the company beforehand
Be sure to adequately research the company or organization where you are interviewing. Know the company’s mission, size, customer base, etc. so you can be prepared for detailed questions and ask meaningful questions of your own.
Prepare yourself for common questions
Before your interview, research common or interesting questions employers may ask of you. Practice your answers several times in front of a mirror or with a friend.
Show you are a punctual and responsible person by arriving for the interview a few minutes early.
Dress as you would for the first day on the job or even “up” a step. Avoid any extremes in hairstyle, make-up, jewelry, perfume, or after-shave.
Maintain a positive attitude
It’s important to be positive. This includes your attitude about your previous or even current job. It’s never a good idea to say negative things about positions you have held or your current position. Doing so could result in you coming across as a complainer. If asked why you are looking to leave your new job, spin it in a positive light. Say something like, “I’ve had some great opportunities with my company, but I feel I have grown as much as I can there and I am ready to enhance my knowledge and skills elsewhere.”
Bring a copy of your resume with you
Always bring your resume in case the interviewer(s) forgets to bring it into the interview. In doing so, you are also exhibiting preparedness.
Maintain good eye contact and body language
Sit up straight, give a firm handshake and look your interviewer(s) in the eye.
Send a thank-you note
Send a thank-you note following every interview. You can either send a handwritten card or note by mail or send an email. Be sure to send one to every person who conducted or participated in your interview process.
There are two types of salary negotiations:
1) Position based
- The maximum gained is hoped for by the employee
- Ultimatums are used to pressure the company
- There is a low priority on building a relationship with the company
2) Interest based
- Building on a future relationship
- More than one right answer to the salary situation
- Open to unique solutions such as benefits and other perks
Five keys to salary negotiations:
- Understand the company’s hiring process and their culture.
- Understand the salary trends in that particular industry.
- Establish value as a future employee for that company.
- Listen and think through the salary and benefit offer.
- Never discuss or negotiate the salary until you have established value to the company or you have been offered the position.
Other important points in salary negotiation:
- Make your best offer your only offer.
- Request salary and benefits in writing to make sure both parties are on the same page.
- If you need time to think, take the time. It is best to only take a few hours or one night at the longest.
- Two counter offers are the absolute limit on negotiating. Employers will rather have no one in the position than the wrong person.
- If a company initially requests salary requirements on an application or when applying via a resume, give the salary requirements or expectations in a range (example: salary requirements are $30,000 to $40,000). Also, if a salary history is requested, inform the company within a cover letter.