Thursday, June 12, 2014

Face Time: Interviewing Tips from the Inside

By now you've probably had a few interview experiences in your life. But they really never get much easier. Even the most seasoned professional gets a little nervous while waiting to be called in for the big interview. One sure way to help calm those nerves is be as prepared as possible. Preparation is half the battle.

The hiring process is a complicated one. It involves lots of “moving parts” including people. There are several people who play various roles during the hiring process. The cast of characters include: The Recruiter, The Hiring Manager, The Boss’s Boss, Potential Peers, and The Admin. Treat each one of these with the utmost respect and professionalism. From the moment you walk into the office to the moment you walk out of the building. They all will have a role in your being hired ….or not.

Treat the interview more like a conversation than an interrogation.  There is more to evaluating a candidate than meeting hard skills. As the applicant you must be able to fit into the company culture and be flexible enough to possibly take on various jobs. Preparation may go beyond the one page job description, it may also include your knowledge of the company history, current projects, insight into strengths and weaknesses, etc. Make sure you take full advantage of our website to help research company profiles. This will help you get a jump on the competition.

If you can approach this situation with the mindset of talking about your strengths and how you believe your past jobs have prepared you for this position, then you can speak from a place of power. You have more control than you may realize. However, you still need to be able to demonstrate your key accomplishments and how these relate to the job at hand for which you are applying. It may help to have a portfolio together with necessary facts and figures that tie you and your experience to the position. It’s OK to have a notebook of bulleted lists of information you want to recall. You don’t have to memorize your entire work history. A list of accomplishments that match the “required qualifications” from the job posting may help you maintain your focus. Make sure you review the list of Interview Questions on our website so that you can have a preview of what might be asked. And, don’t forget questions of your own! Having questions related to the job shows you care and your strong desire for the job. One of the questions should be, “What’s the next step in this process?” and “How will you communicate with me about your decision”?

Lastly, don’t forget to take everyone’s business card and send a Thank You note. Be patient during the waiting game. If you haven’t heard from anyone, it’s OK to call as a follow up but wait at least two weeks.  Make sure you visit WGU Career & Professional Development for more interview tips.

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