Some people don’t realize this, but your job interview starts in the parking lot. You don’t know who can see you while you are sitting in your vehicle.
So instead of singing or doing whatever other things people do in their car, review some possible interview questions and what your answers will be. You can’t practice enough when it comes to interviews. Please always prepare for an interview! I am truly amazed at how many people do not prepare and are unable to answer basic questions.
- Loose Lips: Be polite and kind to whomever greets you. You don’t know who they are or what position they hold. It could be a big mistake to assume. It could be the president of the company for all you know! Do not speak condescendingly to them and remember that the walls have ears. Many years ago, our receptionist heard someone who had just gotten out of an interview, muttering negatively. Of course, I was made aware, and that person did not get the job.
- Research: Always research the company you are interviewing with. If you are interviewing with a staffing firm and don’t know the name of the company, research the staffing firm and who you are interviewing with. Look up reviews for the company but keep in mind there are two sides to every story when there are negative comments.Remember, if you get the job, you will spend more time there than at home with your family. You don’t want to be miserable the whole time you are there. You also don’t want to keep quitting jobs.
- Questions: Never be afraid to ask an interviewer questions. It is a sign of intellect and interest in the position. The best questions are about the company’s history and what product(s) they make or have. Yes, it is okay to ask about compensation and benefits.
- Story Time: Have anecdotes ready for the typical traditional and behavioral questions commonly asked during an interview. I can’t tell you how many interviews had uncomfortable silences because the individual did not adequately prepare for a basic interview.
- Honesty is a virtue! I have seen people lose jobs because they lied or exaggerated the length of time they worked somewhere or didn’t tell the truth about their title and/or duties. It is not worth it. You never know if they will check up on this but assume they are. If you are nervous about a negative aspect of your current or last job, work on giving a good answer. The best answers display self-awareness, reflection, understanding, and lessons learned and applied.
- Follow Up: A note of thanks for the interviewer’s valuable time is always recommended. Most importantly, let them know you are interested in the position you interviewed for. This can give you an edge over the other candidate(s).