When you’re looking for work, landing a job interview can be pretty tough, but that’s just the beginning. The next step is visiting the offices of your prospective employer and convincing them to pick you over all the other applicants. It’s tricky business, but by reading “So You Got a Job Interview – What’s Next?” an informative U.S. News & World Report piece written by Ask a Manager blogger Alison Green, you’ll be one step closer to making a strong impression. Read on for a summary of her tips.
1. Do Your Homework — Show you’re interested by learning as much as you can about the company. Who are the key individuals steering the ship? What makes this firm different from others in the industry? Have they been in the news lately? What’s the size of the total workforce? Instead of merely memorizing facts and figures, try to get a solid understanding of how the company operates and where you might fit into the overall structure.
2. Read That Job Description — Often, Green writes, people make the mistake of showing up for interviews “without a solid understanding of what the role they’re applying for is all about.” Read the description very closely — as in line by line — and think about how your skills and experiences make you qualified for the job. If you determine you’re not a perfect match, don’t fret. As Green writes, your task at the interview is to demonstrate why you’re a strong candidate, and that means proving that you can handle the responsibilities outlined in the description.
3. Practice Answering Questions — All interviews are different, so you don’t know exactly what you’ll be asked, but as Green writes, there are seven questions you ought to expect, and it’s a good idea to practice your responses. Your potential employers will likely be looking for stories demonstrating how you’ve fulfilled the tasks associated with the job you’re applying for, so prepare some of those, and if there are some things you’re especially nervous about discussing, spend extra time thinking about how you’ll tackle those subjects.
4. Write Your Own Questions — It’s true what they say about interviews being “two-way streets,” and in the same way they’re opportunities for companies to find ideal candidates, they’re chances for you to suss out whether opportunities are right for you. On your next interview, ask about things like company culture and make sure it’s a place you’d be happy working. When the interview is finished, inquire about next steps and timeline for filling the position.