ICON TIPS TO CRUSH YOUR INTERVIEW
We are often asked about interviewing, how to stand out, and make the interview go well. Our advice is as follows:
- One week to one day before the interview, practice your responses to core interviewing questions, such as “Tell me about yourself”, “What are your greatest strengths?”, etc. Have a friend ask you the questions so that you become used to reacting spontaneously to questions. Have the friend judge your body language too. There are great books and lists of questions on the internet, use these questions to practice, practice, practice until you become comfortable and fluent.
- Three days to one day before the interview, do your research on the company, the position, and the person that is interviewing you. Find out if you have any connections to the company. Look at their website and news articles on the company and the industry. Check linkedin.com to see if you have any connections to the company. If you do, let them know that you are going to the interview. Ask them to put in a good word for you.
- Prepare two to five smart questions about the company and position based upon your research. There is a ton of resources on the web for good questions to ask an interviewer. If you will be interviewing with multiple people in different functional roles, then think about questions that would make sense for each person that you will meet.
- Plan your interview attire the night before, if in doubt about what to wear, ask us or dress up a level.
- Bring copies of the resume that you submitted for the position, your questions in a notebook and a pen.
- Arrive 20-30 minutes early. Do not go in yet. Sit in a quiet location for a little while and take a deep breath, be calm. We tell you to plan to arrive early because anything can happen. Your car can break down, you can have a hard time finding the building, you can have a hard time finding a place to park, etc. Anything can happen. Giving yourself the gift of 20-30 extra minutes will allow yourself time to be calm and prepared.
- Enter the location 10-15 minutes before your appointment time. Be nice to the first person greeting you. If their name is noticeable, remember it for the next time you go back. Smile. Treat everyone you meet with respect.
- Ask for a business card from the interviewers.
- During the interview, remember your body language, be authentic and positive. Tie your answers back to your practiced skills and accomplishments.
- Be concise; answer the question but don’t ramble. Most people can’t concentrate longer than a minute or so. Keep it impactful. Answer the question and then give them the opportunity to tell you if they want to hear more by ending with, “Would you like me to give you more information/details about ……?”
- Do not speak negatively about your previous employers.
- Ask questions as appropriate. Ask about the next step in the process.
- Tell them you are interested in the job. This is very important.
- Send a personalized thank you letter and express your interest in the role again and why.
If ICON has asked you to take a software or programming language skills test, our top advice is to study for it. Doing well on a software skills test, such as Excel, can be the deciding factor for whether you are offered the job or not. Therefore, practice, practice, practice.
Even if you use Microsoft Word or Excel every day, it will benefit you to review some of the tutorials found on YouTube and take a practice test or two. Most skills test are judging not only your mastery of the basic functions but also if you know the higher-level functions and commands.
There are many websites available offering free practice tests of Excel, Microsoft Word, Power Point and Indesign Creative Suite. Additional, there are websites devoted to testing your programming skills in C+, SAP, Java and many other languages.
Set aside some time before taking the actual test and study, it will greatly enhance your chances of landing that new job.