When is the last time you applied for a job and only had one in-person interview, and then you were offered the job right away? It’s very unlikely that an interview committee would conduct only one interview with a candidate, so you have to be ready for any type of interview you may encounter. Here are tips for many types of interviews so you can make sure are prepared and ready for anything:
- Find a quiet place with good reception to conduct your interview. Charge your phone beforehand so it is one less thing you need to worry about. Or better yet, use a landline if possible.
- Write down names and titles as they talk.
- Also write down key words in their questions so you make sure you answer it thoroughly.
- Speak a little slower than you normally would. They will be taking notes as well so you want to make sure they can hear you clearly and concisely.
- Don’t be nervous about pauses on their end. They are most likely still writing down what you said, or if it is a group interview they are deciding who will ask the next question.
- Smile. They can’t see you, but a smile will add a positive inflection in your voice.
- Ensure you are speaking into the phone, or use a headset so your hands are free to take notes.
- Be aware of time limits of your answers. Not too short and not too long. Don’t ask a million questions if you’re down to the last 5 minutes.
- Know your surroundings. Practice the interview beforehand and check your camera to see what’s behind you. Make sure it is not distracting for the interviewers.
- Clean up the around you. Make sure there is no glare from a window.
- Dress professionally. Even though they will only see you from the shoulders up, make sure you dress professionally head to toe. You never know when you may have to get up to shut a door or get a piece of paper, and you do not want them to see you in your pajama bottoms.
- Look at the camera when answering questions. It may feel funny talking to the camera, but that is how you can convey eye contact. If you look at the people on your screen, it will look like you are looking down.
Lunch or Dinner Interview:
- Ask for details on the restaurant beforehand. That way you can check out the menu, figure out parking, and have a general idea of the area before you go.
- Do not order an alcoholic drink unless they do. And even if they do, you should still only have one.
- Do not order the most expensive items on the menu.
- Pick foods that will be easy to eat while holding a conversation, and ones that will not be too messy. A burger you have to eat with your hands is probably not the best choice.
- Do not complain about the food. If they brought you the wrong thing and you truly cannot eat it, it’s okay to ask for your correct dish. Otherwise, you do not want to seem high maintenance by complaining about your food.
- Remember your manners. Interviewing can be nerve-racking, but it’s important to not forget your manners at a meal. Be kind to your waiter and say thank you. Be overly grateful to your host for taking you for a meal.
- Greet everyone as they introduce themselves, and write down names and titles.
- It’s important to remember to make eye contact with everyone in the room. Don’t just focus on the person you think is the “leader.” Everyone is in that room for a reason and you need to address all of them.
- If they give you the names of everyone in the group interview beforehand, research their offices so you know what they do and think about how you may be working with their office.
- Working interviews are important to assess fit with the group. You need to show that you can be a contributing member of the team, but also not overbearing. Find a balance between showing what you know and asking good questions to the already established team.
- Stay focused on the tasks for the day. Turn off your cell phone, bring a notebook to take notes, and be confident in your abilities.
- Remember, you are interviewing them, too. Check out the culture, interact with the people you are working with, and use this time to also decide if this is a place you see yourself growing in your career.
With any interview, you want to make sure you stay positive, take notes, act professionally, and always send a thank you email. You can go a step further and send a handwritten thank you in addition to your email thank you notes. Always get back in touch with your recruiter to let them know how it went and so that they can give the client feedback. Your resume will get you the interview, but the interview is what gets you the job. So make sure you are prepared, practice, and be your best self. With these tips, you are sure to feel confident for any type of interview.
Check out our interviewing handout for even more interviewing tips.