The following are some final tips to include in our week long Interviewing Boot Camp sessions. Although these may be some final thoughts of our week long series, they are by no means less important.
Etiquette and Best Practices
- Arrive at least 15 minutes before the time your interview starts. If you arrive at the exact time of your interview, you are already late.
- Research the employer. Enough said!
- Know yourself and be able to describe your own job specific skills during an interview.
- Be YOU! When you commit to the real you, it is easier for employers to decide if you’re a good company “fit.”
- Dress to match company culture and industry. (At least one step above what you’d wear on the job.)
- Leave lasting impressions by projecting enthusiasm. Maintain a positive body language. Impressions are made within the first 10 seconds!
- If you’ve done your research you can confidently answer and ask questions with ease.
- Be “The Independent Team Player”
- Practice the most frequently asked questions and have several of your own already prepared.
- Follow-up with next steps by asking for the job. Show appreciation by sending a thank you note within 24 hours after the interview.
Once an offer is on the table and before any negotiations can begin, you must know your worth in the current labor market. Again, know yourself, and take ownership of describing your skills (as learned on Day 2 – Research).
What is your minimum acceptable salary? Typically, employed candidates get paid more competitive salaries than those who are unemployed. So, allow the employer to give his or her range before you divulge your expectations. And know your labor market value. Otherwise your lack of knowledge may be easily uncovered during the interview, rendering negotiations impossible! The automatic assumption will be that you are ill-prepared.
Always remember that every job has a uniform (whether implied or located within a policies and procedures manual). Policies exist for a reason. Adhering to the dress code doesn’t mean you have to forgo your personal brand. When it comes to interviewing, the idea is to dress one step above what you would wear once employed.
For more step-by-step tips on workplace fashion and branding please revisit these two blogs, “What’s in Your Closet?” and “What’s in Your Closet Now?”.
The thank you note, a form of follow-up should be sent via email or regular mail. Though not required, thank you notes are expected in business etiquette and are considered a form of follow-up. Use it to reiterate your skills, a note of thanks or to ask for the job, especially if you forget to do so in person.
I hope you have enjoyed your 5-day Interviewing Boot Camp! Although we barely scratched the surface on the subject of Interviewing, there is much more information readily available through your local Workforce Solutions Career Office.
Thank you for your time and participation this week. Good luck and best wishes to all! May your next interview be successful.
Frieda Carmouche is a member of the Regional Navigator team specializing in training, educating and assisting employers, and career center staff throughout the Gulf Coast with community resources, outreach events and technical support in assisting job seekers with disabilities. A native Houstonian with a love of training and development, Frieda has been employed by Workforce Solutions for over 16 years.