Top 10 Interview Best Practices – By Brian Steel – Managing Partner at Vaco Columbus
A strong resume doesn’t guarantee you the job, especially in today’s ultra-competitive job market. The most important part of the hiring process is the interview – where the interviewer can evaluate you on communication skills, likability and overall cultural fit. Follow these Top 10 Interview tips to help you prep for your next interview:
- Scan the office to see what the interviewer’s interests are (sports teams, hobbies, and alma mater). Try and build some rapport before the interview begins – “So, you’re a Buckeyes fan? Me too!”
- If you’re in a windowed conference room, avoid the “wandering eye.” You don’t want them to think you are uninterested or easily distracted.
- Get business cards from everyone who may have a say in the decision-making process. You should try to get everyone’s business card, short of the receptionist who directed you in. This comes in extra handy when writing your thank you notes that you are going to craft when you return home. More on this…
- If you have dry-mouth, accept the water or coffee that is offered to you. Contrary to what you may think, it is okay to accept this type of offer. The more comfortable you are, the better you will interview.
- Always, always be concise in your answers. Take a few seconds to gather your thoughts if needed. Ask yourself, “What is it that they really want to know?” Dig beneath the surface of the question to discover what they’re really evaluating. If you’re asked to discuss your weaknesses, the employer most likely wants to see how self-aware you are as a potential employee.
- Bring questions and lots of ‘em! You should have at least 4-5 questions about the company and 4-5 questions about the specific job. Do not OVERDUE it but you should be asking at least two questions germane to the role.
- Make sure to ask questions that show you are a team player. Don’t get caught up in asking about vacation time and perks. Instead ask, “What kind of person would work well with this team?” or “In what ways does this position impact the company’s overarching goals?”
- Find out next steps! Ask, “Where are we in the interview process?” and “When can I expect to hear back?”
- Since you did such a great job of gathering business cards, send a “Thank You” note within 24 hours of meeting. An email will suffice, but a handwritten letter is a nice touch – and be sure to set yourself apart from other applicants. If you were a below “B” English student, send your follow-up letter to your Vaco Recruiter to review before sending.
- Finally, have fun and relax! You’re done with all the heavy lifting. Now, just let the game come to you.
Vaco offers consulting, contract and direct hire solutions in the areas of accounting, finance, technology, healthcare, operations and general administration. With over 30 offices across the nation and beyond, Vaco has been on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for the last nine years. Vaco is dedicated to developing creative client solutions, long term relationships, and lifelong careers. For more information, visit vaco.com.