First interviews are tricky because like a cv, there’s no way of knowing exactly what the prospective employer is expecting to hear you say and whether the answers you give are indeed the “right” answers. All you can do, beyond ignoring that pile of butterflies in your stomach, is take a deep breath, put on your best suit, and come in confident about what you do know about the place you’re applying to work with.
But there are other ways to kick your first impression up a higher notch than just showing up in a nice suit.
Polished but Not Perfect
Perfection, in any sense of the word, is a lot to ask of anyone in the first stages of the interviewing process. Go for polished instead. Do your homework on what the company is all about and focus on aspects that you either feel you have a skill set that could benefit it the best or that you have additional questions on. Prospective candidates should know about the business – not necessarily every detail, but enough to ask professional, educated questions. Website’s now are a great place to start, company social media pages also help.
Minutes or Less
How long should an interview go on for? Is it a bad sign if it ends too early or too late? Questions like these are enough to drive any interviewee up the wall! Interviews with applicants usually go on for between 30 and 60 minutes. It’s enough time to get a sense of what the candidate is like and answer any questions they may have without rushing through the process.
If there’s potential for a good fit and all goes well at the first go-around, you may be invited back for a second interview to meet with additional members of the team.
You May Be Googled
Don’t be surprised or upset if this occurs either. In addition to the standard background check, companies often find out about potential employees via social media networks. I would definitely suggest that candidates going in for an interview do some light housekeeping on their Facebook or Twitter profiles as soon as they can before the first interview if only to hide whatever they would not like a potential employer to see.
Know Your Resume
In addition to having done your homework on the company you’re interviewing for, keep in mind that your employment history may come with a set of questions too. Why did you leave your last position? If still employed, why are you looking to leave now? And if there’s an large unemployment gap, be prepared to answer questions related to that one too.
The answers you give can also be quite telling too. Try to refrain from talking poorly about past management or being flippant in your response. Answers during job interviews are more loaded than you think – they can easily give away clues to the potential for success or failure of hiring a candidate.
Take the Friendly Conversation Opening
Sometimes you can only talk business for so long. If there’s an opening to chat for a bit on yourself, open up to that opportunity. Casual conversation that includes asking what you like to do in your free time, your family life or even a favorite holiday place can reveal a lot about the potential fit of the applicant within your company. It also helps to everyone to relax all around.
Last but certainly not least, always remember to follow-up via email or with a handwritten note. Whether it’s electronic or physical, a thank you note should be sent. Not sure if you know the right email address or general business address to send it to? Ask for a business card on your way out to have handy.
………. and remember throughout this whole grueling stomach churning process - Smile.
If you need any further advice give us a shout at Travail Employment Group Grantham 01476 577248
Sourced Forbes 23/5/12