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Your Interview

Enda Goodwin

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Field Agent

Field Agent

The interview. Just the idea of it can cause anxiety, even for those of you who have been through them many times. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you prepare and learn everything about the company, the job, the industry, much of that anxiety will vanish and you will be a confident candidate.

Your success will be based on:

  • The degree to which you demonstrate your knowledge of the company’s business issues and how you can positively impact those issues.
  • The degree to which you demonstrate your compatibility with future colleagues.
  • The degree to which you differentiate yourself from other qualified candidates.

Don’t underestimate the power of your research. You can be the most qualified person, your skills matching the job description perfectly. But if you haven’t researched the company, an interviewer might think you don’t have the passion, desire, or cultural fit to work there.

Here are some basic tips and some “do’s and don’ts” to get you started.

Arrive on time

A no-brainer, right? But there is nothing worse than beginning an interview by apologizing for being late. Allow extra time for traffic or transit delays. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early so you can relax and look around before the interview starts.

The first impression

You only have one chance to make that all-important first impression, so keep in mind these key factors:

  • Physical presence: Dress appropriately for the culture where you are interviewing, and when in doubt, dress on the conservative side.
  • Movements and mannerisms: No matter how nervous you are, avoid fidgeting. That means no twirling your pen, touching your glasses all the time, doing the grampa-thing and jingle the change in your pocket. Relax!
  • Manner of speaking: Don’t be shy, make sure you can be heard. Mumbling and one-word answers will make you stand out for the wrong reasons. If your brain is racing to find the right answer, take a pause. It’s ok to think before you answer.
  • Demeanor: Be positive. It is no fun for a hiring manager when a candidate is all doom and gloom. They will expect you to be a bit nervous of course, but that shouldn’t stop you from smiling. Really! A smile can make a difference.

Sell yourself

This is YOUR time, make the most of it. If you’ve done your research, you’re going to know exactly what they are looking for. Weave your story and you skills into how you can contribute and fulfill the company’s needs. If you’re friendly and relaxed, you’re going to come across as someone they’d like to work with.

Wrapping up

Remember your “p’s and q’s”. Don’t forget to say thank you to the person or people in your interview. And don’t be afraid to ask about next steps - it’s important that you appear keen and positive about the interview, and to get an idea if you are in the running.

Interview Checklist

Now that you have some high-level interviewing tips, take the time to download the checklist so you are ready to go.

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