What to do before, during and after an interview
The purpose of an interview is for the employer to gather as much information about you as possible, to determine whether you are the best fit for the position. At the same time, this is your opportunity to interview the company to determine if you want to work there. There are many components to an interview, and it takes time and commitment to be well prepared.
Before the interview
You must do several things before an interview if you want to be optimally prepared:
- Research the company. Look at multiple websites to get as much information about the company as possible. Read recent press releases and news articles involving the company.
- Choose your outfit and try it on. Make sure it is clean and pressed and fits well.
- Prepare all professional documents and any other items to bring to the interview.
- Ask for the names of those interviewing you and the company’s security and parking procedures.
Common interview questions
With the limitless possibilities of questions you could be asked in an interview, it is impossible to be prepared for all of them. However, many employers use some general questions you will want to practice before your interview. While you practice, it is best to state your answers to another person or in front of a mirror if no one is available to help you. You never know how your answer will sound until you say it for the first time.
Verbal and nonverbal cues
When you think of communicating, you often think only of words that are spoken between two or more individuals. However, much communication involves no words at all. Rather, it is comprised of nonverbal cues you are yielding as you speak or listen. This can be in the form of body language, sounds or even personal space. During an interview it is important to be in tune with not only your verbal communication, but also your nonverbal communication; it can say so much more than your actual words.
How employers evaluate interviews
You can expect that every company to which you apply will be looking for slightly different qualities in a candidate. Even if the job title is the same, company missions and employees can have big variations. This is another reason to research the company as much as possible.
The choice of interview questions will be designed to find qualities and skills that match well with the position. Read the job posting in depth so that you can get a very clear picture of the ideal candidate. Save the job posting to your computer in case it is removed prior to the interview. Make sure that you can relate yourself as much as possible to all the required and desired qualifications listed in the posting.
Remember that there is not always a “right” answer to the interview questions. Many times the employer is trying to learn about your personality and whether you would fit well within the company.
Questions you should ask
The interview should be a two-way street; the interviewer is finding out about you, and you are finding out about the company. Therefore, asking questions shows you are interested in the organization, that you are organized and thoughtful, and that you want to learn more. Is the environment a good fit for you? Is the work what you thought it would be? What will your co-workers be like? Do you want to work there? A good rule of thumb is to ask questions you cannot get answered on the website, and that don’t pertain to vacation, salary or benefits.
After an interview
You have now completed the hard part of the interview process! Give yourself a pat on the back for your efforts. Now you have just a few more steps until the interview process is complete.