Tips for an Impressive Interview
by Betsy McCafferty, gga HR Consultant
Most of the candidates gga presents for executive searches have many years of management experience and have conducted countless interviews searching for talent. However, it is sometimes difficult for them when they are searching for new career opportunities to know how to present themselves during an interview.
Make a positive first impression
Prior to your interview, research common interview questions and prepare some responses in advance. Your responses will then flow more easily when asked during an interview. Make a list of five accomplishments you are most proud of during your career.
Research the organization that is interviewing you. Go to their website, read their strategic plan, search the Internet for recent news articles, and look up the names of key management. Knowledge of the organization will convey your interest.
Dress appropriately. An interview is not the time to wear the latest fashions. In fact, you do not want your clothes to be a topic of post-interview conversation. Dress conservatively in business attire.
Be sure to shake hands with your interviewer(s) and ask for their name. Try to write down everyone’s name so you can respond to them directly when they ask questions.
Winning them Over
During the interview, stay positive and maintain eye contact. Try not to dwell on negative experiences or bad mouth past employers. An interview is not a therapy session to vent your past frustrations.
Answer with succinct responses and always provide clear examples to highlight your knowledge and/or experience. Seek clarification or paraphrase the question to be sure you understand what is being asked.
Don’t control the flow of the conversation. There are usually many questions to be answered and limited time. Look for cues that it is time to wrap up your response.
Show some enthusiasm. Smile. You want to be someone they want to work with.
When the interview is over, be sure to have a couple questions to ask. Again, this shows you are interested in them too. Find out about their short and long term goals for the position and what they consider to be the key attributes to be successful in the position.
Leave the interview on a positive note, summarizing your interest and what you will bring to their organization. Be courteous and thank the interviewer(s) for their consideration.
Next month: How to conduct an effective interview from the employer’s perspective.
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