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When you are preparing for a job interview, you often tailor it to the specific industry you are applying in. This is smart and necessary, but there are a few interview tips that ring true regardless of the industry you are trying to get a job in. You want to add these tips to any others you are using that are industry-specific. In some cases, these more general tips are actually the most important ones that you will use because they help to frame your entire interview experience and they are proven to help people get the job.
Do Your Research
When you get to an interview, you already want to have a basic understanding of the company that you are applying to. Many interviewers will ask you what you know about their company and you want to be fully prepared for this. You do not need to do extensive research, but you want to know things like how the long company has been around, what they do, if they have any outreach in the community and other basic information. Interviewers appreciate candidates who have done their research and have taken an interest in the company.
You can also call ahead and get the name of the interviewer so that you already know his or her name before you even walk in the building. Beyond a name, you do not need to know any other information about the actual interviewer. If you cannot find a name online, call the company and ask.
Make Sure that Your Are On Time
When you have an interview, it is smart to arrive about 20 minutes in advance. This means that you need to leave your house early because you never know if traffic is going to be abnormally heavy or if something else may slow your commute. Take a few minutes to look at things like potential construction in the area of your potential employer so that you can plan accordingly for travel time and where you can park for your interview. You should also know in advance whether or not you will need to pay to park in the area.
Get Prepared and Bring the Right Things
You want to tailor your interview outfit to the employer, but in general, business casual wearing black and white is always a good option. Both men and women can wear black dress pants and a white dress shirt. Women should wear short heels and men should wear dress shoes. Keep your hair simple and neat, and women should only wear neutral makeup. Bring another copy of your resume, a small notepad and a pen with you into the interview. This ensures you have everything you need and you can also take some notes throughout the meeting.
Relate Your Knowledge to the Company
When the interviewer is asking you questions, relate some of your answers back to the company’s history and successes. For example, if the interviewer asks about your software skills, tell them about your skills and then say something like, “I see that you are implementing new software that is improving your customer satisfaction ratings.” This allows you to show off your skills while also showing the interviewer that you have taken the time to learn more about the company and what they are doing on a day-to-day basis.
Always Follow Up After Your Interview
Some people think it is old fashioned to send a thank you note to an interviewer, but this is still a good practice. You can send this in the form of an email and this is likely a better option since today’s world is so fast paced. Approximately 24 hours after your interview, you should send this note and keep it short and to the point. Thank the interviewer for his or her time and reiterate that you are very interested in the position that you interviewed for.
You can use these tips with every job interview so that you always have some effective interview tips in your back pocket. Once you have these tips down, it is easy to make a few tweaks to your overall interview strategy to match it to the industry that you are applying in. For example, if you are applying to a job in the healthcare sector, use all of these interview tips and then tailor your discussion of your qualifications and past work history to things that will make you stand out in healthcare.
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