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Here’s what a typical interview process can look like, from preparation to follow-up:
- Review what a typical interview process can look like.
- Research the business to learn about their goals, customers, accomplishments and values.
- Prepare a list of questions you can ask the employer at the end of the interview.
- Write the first draft of your thank you letter / email.
- Practice answering interview questions out loud by yourself and with others.
- Know the do’s and do not’s of the interview process.
- Get your outfit together and ironed the night before your interview
- Pack a small notebook and pen/cil to take quick notes during the interview, if needed.
- Print a few copies of your resume to bring with you, if possible.
- Bring a list of contact information for 3-5 references.
- Look up directions and even swing by the location ahead of time to confirm where it is located.
- Be neat and clean.
- Arrive on time.
- Be confident, but not arrogant.
- Be ready to talk about your interests, skills, and experience, which are relevant to the job.
- Let the interviewer initiate the shaking of hands.
- Let the interviewer initiate the exchange of names.
- Say your full name (first and last).
- Maintain eye contact.
- Chit-chat (small talk), but let the interviewer initiate this process more than not.
- Speak clearly; articulate your words at a volumn that can be heard.
- Ask where you should sit, if it is not obvious.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Offer your resume to the interviewer(s), if you brought copies.
- Interviewer offers details of the job and perhaps the hiring process for the position.
- Interviewer asks questions about you, your work experiences, interests, and goals in a variety of ways.
- Interviewer might ask about your knowledge of the company.
- Interviewer will be looking for signs of your work ethic and values.
- Avoid answering with one word or saying “I don’t know.”
- You can pause a bit to think, if need be.
- You can even ask the interview to repeat or rephrase 1-2 questions, if you need to.
- If you don’t understand a word or part of a question, ask them to clarify.
CONCLUSION & FOLLOW-UP
- Interviewer summarizes conversation or details about the hiring process.
- You will be given an opportunity to ask the interviewers questions. Make sure you ask 2-4 questions!
- If the interviewer doesn’t explain the next steps in the hiring process, ask about the next steps.
- You restate interest in job.
- If they didn’t ask for them already, offer the interviewer(s) your contact list of references.
- Ask for business card(s)
- Send thank you note(s) within 48 hours (24 hours if at all possible).