Interview Tips to Make a Great Impression
by Kevin Dumcum
You get the call to come in for an interview. Congratulations! Now, the hard work begins.
- First impressions are critical.
Fair or not, employers make decisions within seconds of meeting you. Do you smile as you give a firm handshake? Do you make eye contact? Are you dressed at least one level above the position? Are you polite to the receptionist and anyone else you see (employers will ask!)?
- Second impressions are critical.
Employers have one issue: “Can you help me make money?” Be prepared to share how you have increased sales, decreased costs, or both. You’ve done it before, you have training, you have transferable skills, etc. Practice stories ahead of time: “Yes, I have dealt with difficult customers. In fact…”
- Third impressions are critical.
When they ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”, if you say, “No, you’ve covered everything,” you are saying you do not want the job. Learn everything about the company that you can, and be prepared to ask questions. Good questions are about performance: “What are your 30/60/90 day goals? What did the last person do that you liked?”
- Fourth impressions are critical.
After the interview, you must send a “Thank You” note as soon as possible (that day) to everyone you met. Email is fine; a card with a stamp is better. Say again why you want the job, bring up something that was said in the interview, and you will leave a positive last impression.