You’ve prepared for the interview, you figured out what you need to bring and what should stay at home, now all you have to do is actually go to the interview. If you haven’t read the first two installments of the How To Nail Your Interview series, check those out here and here! The last and final chapter in this series is what to do and what not to do during and after the interview
During the Interview
- Avoid negativity, especially with past employers
- Inevitably your past work experience is going to come up. When asked questions about why you are looking for a new position, or why you left past positions, always remain positive. Never talk badly about an employer or a company to an interviewer, it only ends up looking poorly on you. Answers such as “I’m just looking for a different opportunity” don’t have negative connotations and still answer the question effectively.
- Ask questions
- We talked about this in the first blog post but make sure you bring questions to ask your interviewer. You want to make the interview a conversation, not an interrogation. Asking questions not only shows that you care about the company, but that you are genuinely interested in the company and the position.
- Remain Positive and Energetic
- Again, I wrote this in the previous post, but make sure your energy is up. You’re trying to convince a complete stranger to hire you, you need to prove that you have the energy and enthusiasm for the job.
- Don’t forget your selling points
- Don’t you dare leave that interview until the interviewer understands exactly why you’d be a good fit for the position. Have you worked in the industry before? Did you have experience working with a competitor? Do you have skills and assets that would put you above other candidates? Make sure all of this is known and clear to your interviewer throughout the interview. NEver overdo it or make it seem braggy, but the point of an interview is for the company to get a feel for who you are as a person and your skills and past experiences are how they will determine if you’re a good fit or not.
- Tell them you’d accept the job
- This may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised at how many interviews go by when the candidate doesn’t let them know they are still interested in the position. In today’s job market, there is a surprisingly high amount of jobs, and a shockingly low number of applicants, so applicants are in high demands. Make sure your interviewer knows you are interested in moving on and would accept the job if offered!
After the Interview
- Send a Thank You Card
- Either have one prepared to give to the interviewer right then and there or mail one afterward, you should thank the interviewer or hiring manager for taking the time to meet with you. I recommend keeping an unaddressed, generic, thank you in your padfolio to hand to the interviewer directly afterward. It shows that you truly care about the position, and the interviewer and hiring manager will remember it when it comes to picking a final candidate. The dollar store has packs of several thank you cards for, you guessed it, $1, and you can add a quick note of gratitude before you go in.
- Send a Follow-up email
- In addition to the thank you card, send a followup email to thank the interviewer and inquire about next steps, as well as let them know that you are still interested. If you are going through a recruiter, send the email to your recruiter and have them pass along the information. Also, send your recruiter any feedback about the interviewer so they can help future candidates.
- Reach out to your references
- While you should always reach out to your references prior to listing them, make sure you send them a quick email or give them a call after you’ve had an interview. Giving them the heads-up that they’ll be contacted will ensure that they aren’t caught off guard.