You got the layoff notice or you started looking for another job and now you’ve landed an interview. Here are a couple of things you can do to help prepare an interview.
Before the interview
Be sure to dress very well and be early to the interview. You will want to wear business formal cloths. If you don’t have business formal clothing, check out the local thrift stores. Suits, dresses, shoes and other business formal wear have not changed much over the years. Plus, you probably don’t have a bunch of money to throw down on clothing right now.
What to Bring to the Interview?
Have multiple copies of your resume with you during your interview is always important. Don’t assume the interviewer will have one. Also, if you have multiple interviewers, they may not have all received a copy of your resume. Bring a notepad and pen with you to an interview in case you want to take notes.
When answering interview questions, be concise. It is ok to take a few seconds to gather your thoughts before jumping into a question. Here are a few other suggestions that may help organize your thoughts.
Research the company before your interview
Gather some information about the company that you are interviewing with. Research the products and services they offer. Learn a bit about the history of the company and why you might want to work for them.
Frame your answers into concise relevant stories
Take some of your work experiences and frame them up into concise stories before the interview. Don’t memorize the words; just remember the outline of what you will be talking about. Start out by giving information about the project, task or event, what you did to make it successful (don’t be shy here). What could have gone better and what did you learn from your experience. If things weren’t going good, what did you do to setup up and resolve the issues? How did you handle the adversity? Have some examples about how you deal with difficult situations and difficult co-workers. Don’t complain or talk bad about the difficult situation, a co-worker or management.
If you are asked a question about how to do something and you don’t know. Don’t try and make up an answer. Most likely the interviewer has some knowledge about the subject and will see that you are making things up. You will only end up looking foolish. Instead, just tell them you don’t know and that would be a common thing you would research if you were on the job.
Follow up and good luck
Always follow up with a thank you note via e-mail or postal mail no matter what the outcome of the interview. It is more important than ever to prepared for interviews in this slow economy. Even in a good economy being prepared for an interview will help you shine.Pay close attention to details before the interviewFrame your answers into concise relevant storiesFollow up after the interview no matter what the outcome