Research the Market and Salaries
Go into each interview with a good idea of what the market value of that position is. Unless you are interviewing for a position in government or education, salary information is not included in the job posting. You are almost guaranteed to get a question about your salary expectations. So be ready!
Here are good FREE online resources to research salary:
For a detailed discussion on how to handle the money question during an interview, click here.
Know the Employer
Become familiar with the organization’s products or services, markets, culture, trends, and competitors. Read their website, annual reports, and company literature. Know the names and titles of key employees, particularly those with whom you’ll be interviewing. Be aware of employer’s needs and projected areas of growth.
This is much easier for public companies than for private companies. Websites like Yahoo! Finance contain a wealth of information on publicly traded U.S. companies. Sometimes a simple Google search on an employer can turn up some interesting information including blogs, articles, and more. Click here for additional resources for researching companies.
Research the Position
Learn as much as you can about the position before the interview. If the job posting doesn’t have much information, ask the person you schedule your interview with for a more complete description. Research descriptions of similar positions using a variety of online job boards. Another good website for information on over 800 occupations is MyPlan.com.
Question: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Interviewing is the closest thing to improvisational theater you will encounter outside of the entertainment industry. The good news is that improvisational actors don’t go out there and just ‘wing it’. They practice. They rehearse. They have a pretty good idea what the range of possibilities is going to be, and then they prepare accordingly.
Likewise, if you take the time to anticipate the questions you are most likely to be asked, and then prepare and practice (not memorize) your responses to those questions, your efforts will pay BIG dividends in terms of the number of job offers you will receive.
What’s the best way to practice? Practice in a way that is most comfortable and effective for you. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice with a friend or family member.
To be professional means to present yourself in the best possible way. Elements of professionalism include the way you dress, communicate, carry yourself, and interact with others.
Traditionally, dressing up for an interview meant to wear business attire; a suit and tie for men, and a suit (no tie usually) for women. Additionally, don’t wear cologne or perfume, polish your shoes, make sure your hair is neat and make-up is conservative (women primarily) and be clean cut and shaven (men primarily).
Today, this still holds true for many business-related and professional positions. However, be sensitive to the organization and their culture and environment. If you have an interview as a programmer in a young software development company where the typical dress code consists of t-shirts, shorts and flip flops, and you show up for the interview dressed in a 3-piece pin-striped business suit, they are going to look at you like you just landed from another planet! And in a sense, you have.
Now, this is NOT to say that it is okay to wear a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops to an interview. What would be appropriate for an interview in this type of employer would be a pressed button-down shirt or blouse, trousers or slacks, and dress shoes. The idea is to dress a level or two above the position you are interviewing for.
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