I work in an industry where I interview A LOT of people. I am constantly speaking with candidates for both entry level and Management positions. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of basics that people miss during application and hiring process. For those of you ladies out there looking for a new opportunity I thought I would share a few helpful hints that can go along way and set you apart from your competition. Even though these might seem basic, you would be surprised at the difference they make!
1) Double, Triple, Quadruple check your resume/cover letter/application– misspellings, grammatical errors, old cover letters with other companies names still on them, in correct dates, formatting, you name it, people will catch this! Your application materials should be the BEST presentation of your work thus far, as it is all we know about you. Have others proofread and look through them… but please make sure they are flawless!
2) Do your homework– take a little bit of time and look at the company website. Find out a few things about them. Prepare a question or two that are specific to that company and their mission, values, etc… In this day and age it is unacceptable to enter an interview without a basic knowledge or understanding of what you are interviewing for.
3) Come prepared– Dress the part, it is always better to over dress than underdress. If you are standing in the mirror thinking, “should I wear this?”. Don’t wear it. Bring a printed copy of your resume, cover letter, and a notepad to write down a few notes.
4) Starfish– As you may remember from a few of my earlier posts, body language is everything. You want to walk in with confidence and remain confident in your tone and presentation. Take a minute before you enter the interview, in the bathroom is probably best, and make yourself look like someone running across a finish line. Occupy as much space as possible, and starfish your arms and legs out wide. Just this small pre interview tactic will get the endorphins flowing and make you feel more powerful and confident.
5) Body Language– When you walk into the interview, stand tall, shake their hand firmly, look them in the eye… there is nothing better or more powerful than a strong first impression.
6) During the interview– Present yourself and your work history in a positive light. Don’t spend time talking about places you didn’t like working or problems you had. Be prepared to tell your professional story well, why you are ready for the job, and what the strengths are that you bring to the table.
7)Questions– Bring a couple of questions (no less than 2, no more than 5) to ask your interviewers. A question or two should include a few specific details you have learned about the company to show them you have done your homework.
8) Nail your pitch– At the close of the interview I am always super impressed when someone can give me a 1-2 minute pitch summing up their experience and why they are the best caindadte for the job. I don’t ask for this but it is something that I am pleasantly surprised when someone delivers it. Practice your pitch, have it down, and make sure you make time for this before the interview concludes.
9) Always send a “Thank You”– This is missed more than anything else. Thank your interviewers for their time. Send an email, mail a card, or hand deliver a note to the office, but be courteous and say thanks.
Hope these help any of you out there looking for that next opportunity!