The New Interview Basics Aren’t So Basic

basic interview advice

Standard interview advice can be so basic and repetitive. Firm handshake. Extra copies of your resume. Dress nicely. Smile. But do you want to know what HR and anyone else involved in the hiring process is really thinking?  

 

I’m not in HR, but I am involved in the interview process and it’s completely different on the inside compared to being a candidate. Here are a few of my tips from one basic candidate to another.

 

Cover Letters

Cover letters are nice and an important summary of your resume. But they will often get overlooked. HR goes through so many resumes a day the last thing they want to read is a single-spaced letter of everything they can see broken down on their resume.

  • Don’t spend a lot of time on it, make it brief and to the point.

Research

If you are going through a job search extravaganza, having knowledge on a company is one thing, but researching it is another. Take time to do the research—it will give you the confidence you need to answer any question.

  • Create a spreadsheet to document all the notable things on each company you’re interviewing with.  
  • Be prepared to answer questions by aligning your experiences to the company goals.

Company Culture

The trend is toward casual work environments—but it doesn’t mean your resume and cover letter should match it. Don’t tell me that one of your previous job responsibilities was “wearing flip flops to the office.” (Yes. that really happened to me.)

  • Keep it professional, then once you get the interview let your personality shine.

Make it a fun experience for the interviewer.

Be creative! Hiring managers interview a lot and after interview #1,034 of the day, they get bored. You can make an impression by making your interview interesting. Use your witty, charming, and upbeat personality to keep them engaged.

Last, but certainly not least…

Follow Up

Following up is not only a way to say thank you but a way for you to summarize what you took away from the interview. You have another opportunity to let them know why you think you’re a good fit for the position and the company.

  • Following up gives the interviewer a deadline. Closing the email with “Thanks again for your time, I look forward to hearing from you on {insert day here}.”
  • If you interviewed with more than one person, ask for their cards before you leave (even if it’s at reception before walking out)

We know how annoying the job search and interviewing process can be. Trust us, we’ve all been there. But preparing ahead of time and understanding what you’re walking into each time will give you the confidence you need  to rock the interview and lock down the job!


About the author

Cally Martin

Cally is the Marketing Specialist, social media lover, blog writing boss, and event planner extraordinaire at Jobs2Careers. She will definitely ask to pet your dog, try to convince you to run a 5K because three miles “isn’t that bad", and will always say yes to a mimosa brunch.

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