When you shake their hand as you walk in the interview room or sign on to the virtual interview? Nope!

It starts when you answer the call to schedule an interview. Every step of the way from that point on is super important. Not only are they interviewing you, but you are also interviewing them. Pay attention to everything they do. Is this a place you want to work based off these experiences?

First, answer the call. If you are applying for positions, know that unknown numbers may be calling you to schedule an interview. Be prepared and answer the call professionally. Avoid cutesy voicemails or music playing while waiting; keep it simple when on the job hunt.

While on the call, take notes with who, when, where, etc. Write it down (did I make that clear when I said take notes??). Know who called and how to call them back if needed. Be polite, flexible if you can, and honest about your date and time available and ability to do a virtual interview if necessary. Cancelling is usually worse than upfront honesty!

No biases here, we are keeping it simple and professional!

Tips for interview prepping:

  • Before the interview, yes, there is more before you walk in the door. If you did not research the company during the application stage, and even if you did, do it now! Also, do some reconnaissance; go to the location of the interview (do not go in) and make sure you know how to get there, how long it is going to take you and where you should enter the building. If possible, go at the same time the day (weekday) before to gauge traffic. If virtual, make sure you have the right software or app, and do a trial run ahead of time with a friend or family member.
  • Determine what to wear. Check out their website for possible insight on the company’s dress code. My suggestion on dress: level up. Dress in the same style (business, business casual, casual) as the manager of the position you are applying for. This is the same if you are doing a virtual interview. In the case of virtual interviews, you need to be hyper aware of your surroundings and what can be seen in the camera view and heard. Avoid noise, mess, etc.
  • Prepare for the interview by reviewing common questions online. Google is an amazing tool to use for this purpose. Ask for help from friends or recruiters; use your network. If you are going to be making a presentation, practice it – in front of someone else! Print copies of your resume to bring with you, just in case. Again, if virtual, you should do all of these things except print your resume.

NOW for the actual interview! Yes, there is a decent amount of time between when the interviewing starts and when you shake their hand or log into the virtual interview. No worries, once you get here, you are halfway done and have prepared, take a deep breath, and relax (as best you can).

Be prepared to answer the “Tell me a little bit about yourself” question. Focus on where you have been, what you have been doing (brief relevant past work experience) and where you want to go now (this job, etc.). Keep it between 30-45 seconds, yes seconds! If you are not prepared to answer this question, you will likely answer with a long-drawn-out verbal resume, which they have in their hands already.

Answer questions honestly and provide examples, especially when asked. Ignoring the request for an actual example (not a hypothetical) can cause concern for the interviewers. Let them know if you need to take a minute to get your thoughts together, and answer the question asked. From here, you will have an opportunity to show off your skills, abilities, and experiences through answering their questions. Expect about 30-45 minutes for the first interview. Unless it is a phone screen interview, then expect it to last approximately 30 minutes or so. Preparing for each interview, using the same tips is important.

At the end of the interview, you will know it is that time when they ask you what questions you have, ASK QUESTIONS! Unless you have been asking questions during the entire interview and thus have had all your questions answered, which is unlikely, ask at least 1-2 questions. Use these questions to get clarification or insight to the company, this position, the management style of the hiring leader or the culture of the company. These are all good categories to bring up. You can always ask the interviewer why they work there and what do they enjoy the most about it. Also, make sure you understand what the next steps in the hiring process are. Once done, shake hands again and leave, or sign off from the virtual interview.

No, it is not over… follow up after the interview (within 24 hours if possible) with an email or letter letting them know that you are still interested. Make sure to include information you may have left out of the interview or highlight something important from the interview.

Then, you are done! However, it is OK to follow up in a week or so, depending on what the interviewer said were the next steps.

I hope these tips help you on your journey!

At DRG Pro Services, we have recruiters ready to help you out, feel free to reach out at any time by emailing professionalservices@drgok.com and visit our website at www.drgproservices.com.

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