Turning an Interview Into a Job Offer

The interview is a primary selection tool hiring managers use to find the candidates they need. Dressing in your best business outfit and standing in front of a person, or persons, who are going to read into every word you say can be a nerve racking event. However, with a little preparation you can increase your chances and lower your anxiety.

Preparation 1: Build a Strong Resume

The best preparation for an interview is to ensure that your resume is accurate and reflective of your skills. Hiring managers use these resumes to determine which candidates they want to take the time to talk to and discuss potential positions. Having a strong resume will not only improve your chances of getting an interview but will also show how your skills are aligned to the job position.

The resume should provide a snap shot of your experience with enough detail to provide insight into the nature of your work. The positions earned and the specific functions of the job can be beneficial for managers that want to understand what you can do. As always, make sure it is easy to read and functional.

Preparation 2: Understand the Job and the Company

If you received the recruitment call it becomes important to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the position and how it operates within the company. The hiring manager is likely to ask questions revolving around the position and the company to test your knowledge. Having a wider background of information will help you focus your answers to his/her needs.

Managers want to know if you have an understanding of the position you are applying for and whether or not hiring you can improve their company performance. This is why it is important for you to complete enough research to apply your answers to the company. It shows both motivation and thoroughness while allowing the manger to picture you in the position.

Preparation 3: Prepare and Practice Responses

Knowing that managers are going to ask you questions it is beneficial to prepare your responses in advance. Think about other interview you have had, search on line for common questions, and try and develop your battery of basic responses. Writing out the question and a few responses for each can be beneficial in solidifying your thoughts.

There may be some difficult questions that were not previously thought about. The best way to deal with an unknown question is to define your overall work philosophy. Understanding how you solve problems and your personal beliefs about the workplace will help you fall back on these core beliefs if needed to provide a consistent response.

Preparation 4: Dress Your Best

First impressions can mean a lot. The way we dress helps a person sum up the overall impression they will have with us. Traditional colors with a tie and shinny shoes will show them that we are serious about the position and prepared to take on important responsibilities. Since it is the visual image they have of us it is important to make it the best you can by wearing the right clothes and preparing them in advance.

Interviewing is not always easy but you can better prepare yourself by following appropriate steps that get you ready to present yourself well and answer the questions the hiring managers is likely to ask you. Practicing will also be confident which can lead to higher positive ratings in the interview. Ensure that you know your stuff, look great, and know what you want. Above all communicate. Good luck!

Dress for Job Interview Success

You want to make sure that you are dressing for success – which means that it needs to look like you put some thought and time into getting ready for the interview. You want the person who is doing the interviewing and ultimately the hiring to understand that you take the job interview seriously – which in turn means that you will take the job seriously as well.

The idea that you must “dress for success” never goes out of style because people see your clothing as part of your initial impression. They will immediately be thinking of how you will fit into their companies culture, how you will interact with co-workers and clients and whether the first impression that you are giving is one that they want their company to give.

Here are a few tips to work on now, so you will be ready to go the morning of your all-important interview:

Plan one or two “interview outfits” and keep them ready to wear (c’mon ladies, we have at least that many outfits ready for a night out!) That means they are clean, mended, and fit comfortably.

Get dressed in the entire outfit and have a friend take your picture from the back, side and front. Look at those photos and decide what needs to change. (You can’t change your body in two days, but you can pick a better shirt or shoes.)

Do your research and know what is appropriate for this interview. Go conservative if you have doubts.

Figure out the entire outfit, from shoes, socks and underwear to tie and jewelry. Have it all laid out the night before so you know it’s ready.

Have a backup in case you spill something on yourself. It’s been done!
Shine your shoes, give yourself a manicure (and pedicure if you’re wearing peep-toe shoes) and plan your grooming schedule. This is not the place for that just-stepped-out-of-the-shower-wet look.

When you have planned your outfit and know you look your best, you have confidence. Preparing ahead of time helps you focus on the interview instead of that button that popped off your shirt before you left home. Part of your job search includes dressing for success, so get ready to shine!