17 Important Things To Remember As You Prepare For An Interview

Several Days – One Week Before the Interview

  1. Spend some time to research the organization and the position at hand. To find company-specific information, visit your local library, run a search on the internet, or talk to current or former employees about their experiences and impressions of the company. Study up on the company’s products and services, industry, target market, annual sales, geographic location(s), structure, history, officers, and any other key information. Are there any new trends in the industry?
  2. Identify the organization’s major competitors and do some basic research on how they differ (either positively or negatively) from the company at which you are interviewing.
  3. Prepare specific examples of how your skills and experience make you a strong fit for the organization’s needs. Practice answering directed questions about your experience, education, and skills and how they relate to the position at hand. Being prepared to draw colorations between your experience and the needs of the organization is one of the most important interviewing skills you will need.
  4. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Be prepared to talk about your weaknesses, but find a way to frame them positively. For example, “My biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist. It may take me a little extra time to get a project done to my satisfaction, but you can be guaranteed that the work will pass even the most stringent review, be 100% accurate, and that no detail will be overlooked.”
  5. Prepare several intelligent questions about the company and position that will demonstrate your knowledge of the company and your sincere interest in the position.
  6. Try on your suit and make sure that it is still well-fitting and in good repair. If necessary, make arrangements to have it altered or find alternate dress.

The Day before the Interview

  1. Contact the company to confirm the date and time of your interview. Also confirm the name and title of the individual(s) you will be meeting.
  2. Get directions to the interview site. Be sure to double check the directions using a map. This will ensure that you know the way and also give you an approximate travel time – don’t forget to allow for extra time for rush hour!
  3. Lay out your entire interview outfit. Check it for any spot, wrinkles, or snags.
  4. Print off a few extra copies of your resume and cover letter on nice paper. Even if the interviewer has a copy of their own, it’s always a good idea to have a backup copy. This is also helpful if you end up interviewing with multiple individuals, since the head interviewer may be the only person with a copy of your resume.

Get a good night’s sleep!

  1. Your brain needs fuel to run at peak performance and if there is ever a day you needed 110% from your brain, it’s today. So don’t skimp on meals. Be cautious about eating large amounts of carbohydrates right before your interview though, since carbs are know to cause sluggishness and may lead to a “post-lunch” naptime.
  2. Get dressed early so you do not feel pressured to dash out the door. Pay attention to the details (brush off any lint, comb your hair, brush your teeth, use deodorant, etc.) and remember that a first impression can reveal a lot about you and your character.
  3. Don’t forget to take copies of your resume, your cover letter, and your portfolio if you have one.
  4. Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your interview. If you arrive more than 15 minutes early, it’s best to wait in the car or outside the building. Arriving too early gives off the impression that you have a lot riding on the interview (and have nothing better to do with your time), and also pressures the interviewer(s) into feeling that they have to adjust their schedule to accommodate you.

5.Smile and shake everyone’s hand when you are meeting for the first time – you should also smile and shake hands when the interview concludes.

  1. Relax! If you have done your homework you are well-prepared for the interview. Take a deep breath and spend a moment collecting your thoughts if you need to when being asked a question. Ask confused about a particular question you are asked, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

After the Interview

Write a quick “Thank You” message to the individual(s) who interviewed you.

10 Tips To Resign Your Job With Professionalism And Pride

Congratulations! You just got an offer for a wonderful new job. There’s just one catch. You have to say good-by to your current employer.

Maybe you loved your job and you face an emotional farewell. Or you maybe you hated every minute and you’ve been counting the days till you could walk out the door one last time.

Clients often admit they’re nervous about making the departure announcement. They’re afraid the boss will be angry. They feel guilty about the work they’re leaving behind. Maybe someone else has to take up the slack for awhile.

But clients also wonder how to resign gracefully yet still protect their own longer-term career interests. They suspect their departure style will influence their careers for a long time,

They’re right.

Here are some guidelines to move to your next position with grace and style.

  1. Give the correct amount of notice required by your company’s written policy.

Every so often my clients feel sorry for their former colleagues. So they stick around an extra week (or even an extra month). Inevitably, they begin to feel like a fifth wheel. Nearly everyone says, “Next time I’m leaving right away!”

  1. After you leave, do not accept any job-related calls from your company unless you have a written consulting contract.

Your boss required two weeks notice – but belatedly realized she needs four weeks for a smooth transition to your successor.

Your boss made a business decision to require two weeks notice. When she miscalculates, she needs to accept the cost, just as she’d accept the cost of late payments to a supplier.

If your company needs additional help, offer to work as a paid consultant with a contract. But get everything in writing and make sure your new job becomes your Number One priority.

  1. Study your current and future company policies regarding disclosures and no-compete agreements.

Some companies are extremely proprietary about their process and their people. Once you resign, you may have to leave the workplace immediately. Or your new company may ask you not to work for your former employer, even on a part-time basis.

  1. Resign to your boss in person, if at all possible.

Phone is second best. And tell the boss before you tell anyone else – even your best friend or golfing buddy.

  1. Expect your boss to be professional.

Clients often fear the boss’s reaction. However, bosses rarely are caught by surprise. Good bosses are happy to see their employees move ahead. Thank her for the opportunity to learn, which has led to your newest and most wonderful career move.

  1. Thank your boss and your coworkers, even if you hate them all and can’t wait to leave.

You may regard them more fondly through a haze of memories than a glare of office lighting. You may encounter them at conventions and networking groups. And most likely you will benefit from strong references and goodwill.

  1. Decline a counter-offer.

Recruiters consistently tell me, “Sixty percent of those who accept a counter-offer are gone in six months.” If you decide to stay, get a written job contract.

Exception: A few companies and industries actually demand proof of an outside offer before offering you any kind of internal raise or reward. College professors often work in this environment.

  1. Treat the exit interview as a business formality, not a therapy session.

When a Human Resource professional asks why you are leaving, be upbeat and positive: “for a better opportunity.” Talk about how much you loved the company and your job. You never know where your comments will turn up, mangled and misinterpreted.

  1. Resist entreaties to share the details of your future position with anyone.

Occasionally a colleague will try to assess your salary or other information “so we can stay competitive in recruiting.” Helping your company recruit is not part of your job and anyway, do you really believe this?

Details of your future employment should remain confidential, even from your close friends in the company.

  1. Focus on your new opportunity – not your past expeience.

Once you’re gone, you’re history. The very same folks who loved meeting you for lunch will barely remember your name a week later.

And, if you haven’t changed jobs for awhile you may be in for a shock. Your first day in a new position can be a real eye-opener!