Thursday, April 25, 2013

9 steps to Impressing your Interviewer

- Lauren Lind, junior advertising and communication major

You’ve landed the interview! Now what? With these tips, you can have a better chance of landing the job and making a great first impression with your interviewer.

1) Perfect your handshake. No limp handshakes allowed. Make sure your handshake    is firm, your hands aren’t sweaty, and you give one or two pumps from the elbow to hand. This is important because it shows you are confident and will begin your interview on a positive note.

2)  Maintain a professional demeanor. You do not want to come across as too casual or the interviewer might not take you seriously. This is your time to shine and really sell yourself to the best of your ability to the recruiter.

3)  Practice, practice, practice. Interviewing with a company is always good practice, even if you don’t get the job in the end. It’ll prepare you for future interviews. The more practice you get, the better.

4)  Bring a great attitude. Show that you are interested and enthusiastic about the opportunity at hand. A genuine smile goes a long way.

5)  Be inquisitive. Ask questions such as “What characteristics do you consider to be ideal for a candidate in tise position? What are some of the significant challenges that this position would help to alleviate? What‘s the most important thing I can do to help within the first 90 days of my employment? Do you have any concerns that I need to clear up in order to be the top candidate?”

6)  Set yourself apart from the competition. Being engaged and interested in the position will take you further. Tell descriptive, but true, stories about past experiences to answer questions and use the STAR method. The interviewer will be concerned with what you can bring to their company and this will put you ahead of other candidates.  

7) Know when to keep quiet. Some things are better left unsaid. Do not bring up salary, vacation time or benefits on your first interview. When you get to that step with the interviewer, they will bring up those topics. Nobody likes a complainer, so be sure not to relay any negative feelings about your past employers to the interviewer. Employers want candidates who will be committed to their company on a long-term basis, so do not bring up other career aspirations.

8) Stand out. You are competing for a position that many other qualified candidates are as well so be sure to make yourself memorable. You can do this by saying something about your background and self that is appropriate, yet different. For example, maybe the candidate who takes part in flash mobs frequently, doesn’t have a usable background for the job they are looking for, but at least she stands out from other candidates.

9)  Express that you want the job. This sounds simple, yet many people never tell the employer that they really want to be hired for the position. This will assure the interviewer that you are determined and interested. Be sure to emphasize this in your thank you letter that you send right away when you leave their office.

Contributors: Marco Buscaglia and Tribune Media Services, Inc.