10 Ways to Ace Your Interview

job interviewYou look good on paper, and Grafton has checked you out. Now it’s time for the big interview. Here are some reminders that will help you ace it.

1. Do your research. Be prepared to tell the interviewer what you know about the company and why you want to work there. Phrase your answer in a way that shows how you can help the company achieve its goals. Search the web, talk with friends, and call Grafton if you need more information about the position.

2. Prepare your answers. Interviewers may ask you to demonstrate your skill by describing how you handled a situation in your last job. Think about examples in advance so you don’t ramble on. Being succinct in your responses exemplifies a professional approach and respect for your interviewer’s time.

3. Listen – and ask questions. Be sure to listen with attention and let the interviewer know you heard what was said. Observe your interviewer, and match that style and pace. This will make the conversation flow more smoothly and give you ideas for asking follow-up questions.

4. Prepare your own questions. Go in with a few questions that will help you learn more about the company and position (not about pay, benefits or other items that are more about you than the company). And consider some follow-up questions that respond to what the interviewer has shared.

5. Practice, practice, practice. Try out your questions and answers in the mirror or with a friend. Pay attention to what you say and how you present yourself. That includes standing straight, making eye contact and connecting with a firm handshake.

6. Dress the part and be well groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you’re seeking. Ask your Grafton recruiter for guidance on the company dress code and appropriate interview clothing.

7. Be on time and bring an extra copy of your resume. Both are indications of professionalism and preparation – key elements that every employer is seeking. “On time” means arriving 10 to 15 minutes before the interview. Get directions in advance and plan for traffic. Know the name of your interviewer, and offer a copy or your resume at the start.

8. Don’t be overly confident or too familiar. The interview is a business meeting to talk about your qualifications and fit with the company. It’s not about making a new friend.
• Use professional language. Don’t use inappropriate slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics or sexual orientation.
• Don’t appear overconfident or arrogant. There’s a fine balance between confidence, professionalism and modesty. Overconfidence is as bad, if not worse, than being too reserved.
• Observe common-sense courtesy. Turn off your phone. Don’t smoke or chew gum, and don’t take your own drink. (Accepting one from the interviewer is appropriate).

9. Be calm. But don’t get too comfortable. Show the interviewer you’re energetic and enthusiastic about the position.

10. Say thanks. Thank interviewers for their time and note that you look forward to hearing from them. Follow up with your Grafton recruiter. Send a thank-you note via email or post.