As seen in Volume 12, Number 2 issue of ...
Surviving the Interview - BrassRing Campus, Careers and the Technology Undergrad
The theme of the most popular show on television this summer was survival. The lesson learned from that show was that the most prepared and adaptable person wins. A job search is also an exercise in survival. To survive the interview process and be the candidate picked for the coveted job requires utilizing basic survival skills.
- 1. Preparation.
- Always bring copies of your resume. This will help you fill out any necessary paperwork and will be your reference material during the interview.
- 2. Protective coloration.
- Check, in advance what the company views as appropriate interviewing attire.
Some companies prefer corporate dress, and in the dot-com world business casual may work best.
- 3. Research.
- Be informed. Do a background check on your target company and its industry. The day of the interview, check the Internet for any current news. This will demonstrate initiative as well as interest in the company.
- 4. Focus.
- Listen, hear the question being asked and respond to it thoroughly and concisely. The interviewer is not only looking for the answer but also for your style of response.
- 5. Dialogue.
- Remember that a successful interview is more conversation than interrogation. Turn this into a working meeting, and ask questions about the position and the company. This also demonstrates social skills to the interviewer.
- 6. Reconnaissance.
- Determine if the company and position being offered is right for you, as well as whether or not you are right for the position. Ask questions about the financials, the organization of the company, the reporting structure and what it takes to be successful in this position. Determine what your future boss's importance is to the success of the company -- this will impact your status and future potential for advancement as well.
Remember, don't just ask about the position's role and viability today; ask about your future career path and the company's plans for the next two to five years. Also determine what educational or training opportunities will be made available to keep you marketable for the future.
- 7. Prove value.
- Discuss what skills and attributes make you a potential asset to the
company. Relate how past positions or internships gave you relevant experience for this position. Give the interviewer reasons to choose you.
- 8. Assimilation.
- Determine if you can live with the natives. Ask questions about the corporate culture -- is the company corporate, casual or dot-com? If they took a family portrait at the firm, do you feel you would fit in? To succeed at any company you have to gain acceptance and find a comfort level.
- 9. Show no fear.
- Be relaxed and confident at the interview. Companies are looking to hire potential leaders, and interviewers can sense fear and lack of confidence. Be the person you would hire if you were doing the interviewing.
- 10. Be a good closer.
- End the interview by reiterating your interest in the position being offered and the company. Thank the interviewer for his or her time.
Leave the interviewer with the impression you are the best person not only for the job but for the company. These skills will not only help you survive the interviewing process, but are key to a successful career once the job is yours.