At the Lewis Group of Companies we have our list of: “Top 7 Interview Tips.” Interviewing for a potential job can be a stressful time. Everybody knows to be professional, and to do their very best in an interview. However, what people know and what they do, can be very different. With all of us knowing the basics, why do I have so many funny stories of people doing the exact opposite of what they should?
I can tell you stories of people who:
- answer their cell phone in the middle of an interview,
- people who show up to an interview in shorts, t-shirts, or ripped jeans,
- people who answer questions with one word answers,
- people who stare off into space,
- people who bring their soda into my office and drink it while answering questions.
Of course I try to be as professional as possible, but inside I’m either laughing my head off or controlling my frustration.
Tip #1: Have Dinner with Your Grandma
You know, I always say: “Interviewing is like having dinner with your grandma.” What do grandmothers expect from us? They expect us to be polite. They expect us to sit up straight. They expect us to smile. Don’t slouch and don’t fidget. Trust me, if you can do that in an interview, then you will beat out so many people it will make your head spin.
Tip #2: Dress Professionally
Dress sharp. Look your best. If you’re a man, wear a suit and a tie. If you don’t have a suit, then there is no need to go out and spend a thousand dollars to get a brand-new one. Simply wear a nice shirt and a tie. If you’re a woman, wear a shirt and a blazer. Basically look professional.
Tip #3: Do Your Research
Now before the interview happens, go to our company websites and do some research.
You don’t need to spend hours and hours memorizing statistics on our company. Just know the basics. My best note is to go back to the job posting that you originally read and read it again. Companies spend a lot of time and energy creating a job description. You will find that almost everything you need is right there.
Tip #4: Play a Little Tennis
Now in the interview, much of the same suggestions apply. Talk about your skills and expand on your experiences with specific examples related to the job at Lewis. Avoid rambling on and on. Interviewing is like playing tennis. I hit you the ball. You hit me the ball back. It’s not that you get the ball and hang on to it for 20 minutes and ramble on until eventually you give the ball back.
Tip #5: Ask a Question
When the interview is coming to an end, you will likely get the question from the interviewer: “So do you have any questions?” Well, don’t say no. Have a question! A simple, smart question can be as easy as asking, “What does your company want from the person that you hire for this position?” Listen to the interviewer’s answer, and then respond. Share something you’ve done that matches what the interviewer just told you they wanted.
Tip #6: Say Thank You
Now when the interview is over, and you go home, what should you do next? Well the world has changed. We have the Internet and email. There’s no need to call me four times that day. There’s no need to send me a handwritten card with a cookie. Follow up a day or two after the interview with a nice professional email. Send a two or three sentence thank you email that says you enjoyed the interview and that you are looking forward to the possible opportunity to work for the Lewis Group of Companies. That goes for a sales position, a groundskeeper, an accountant or even a vice president role. Be professional. Keep it short and sweet. Recruiters appreciate it, because trust me; we get a lot of candidates. If you can present yourself as a professional, polished, and to the point candidate, then you will beat out a lot of people who overdo things.
You should hear back from the company if the interview was positive. If you don’t hear anything for days that might mean you didn’t get the position, but hopefully you did. Trust me, if we want you here at Lewis, we will get back to you quickly.
Tip #7: Interviewing is Like Dating
So in a nutshell remember these words: “Interviewing can be like dating.” You usually know in the first 10 to 20 minutes how it’s going to go. Be courteous and be professional. Show off your unique qualities and good personality. End the date on a friendly note. If you don’t hear back from the person it probably didn’t work out. Don’t get weird about it. But hopefully it does work out, and turns into a loving and long-lasting fit.