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The Best Interview Advice from HR

lucy-advice-boothYou made it through the resume screening and landed an interview. Now what? What tips would HR give you to have the most successful interview possible? What do they want to see from candidates during the interview process? Better than turning to Lucy and her advice booth, we have tips from HR leaders to help nail your interview. 

Know the Company 
Do your research beyond memorizing the website. Know what the company does and how it reaches the market. Use your network, the internet and social media to learn about the company (and those you’re interviewing with). With this information it will be easier to build connections and share how you could add value to the role you’re considering. 

Be solutions oriented 
Be more than a problem solver. Come to the interview ready to share how your strengths and experience can assist the company to move forward. 

Ask questions 
Just as the company you are interviewing with is assessing if you are a good fit for them, you should be assessing them. Is this company and job a good fit for you? What are the biggest challenges the company is facing? What opportunities and/or benefits would you like to have? How would they describe the company culture? Own your job search and be confident in asking about next steps and timeframes. Ask about job expectations and how they would like to hear back from you. 

Note your body language
Are you slouching? Wrapped up in a ball? Hovering over their desk? Fidgeting with your hair, nails or clothing? Rolling your eyes? Confidence and professionalism doesn’t only come from the words you say – but also what your body language says. We discussed this during our MCYou podcast with Amy Cuddy. How holding a power pose just prior to your interview, or making a mental note of other moments you were successful can help you to be present and confident, without coming across too abrasive. 

Follow-up appropriately 
HR does realize that you want to get to work and/or hear an answer back from the company. However, calling from the parking lot after you interview shows desperation not eagerness. Also, calling or emailing every day doesn’t communicate that you’re showing interest. It also communicates desperation. Ask during the interview what is the expected timeline and next step in the process, otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to wait one (1) week and then follow-up. 

Be nice . . . to everyone 
Be nice to everyone you meet including the receptionist and other staff. Everyone is watching how you treat others. It is a reflection of who you are as a person regardless of your skills. 

Respect. You need to give it to get it. When you’re in transition, it’s hard not to be focused solely on your own personal situation. However, your interview is only one of a myriad of things that people have in front of them. Set yourself apart, ask about how your interview is fitting into all the person you’re speaking with is working on. You are looking to join an organization, not just get a job. 

These tips were taken in part from the Cincinnati HR Roundtable discussion last month.

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