You did it. You’ve applied for the job you wanted, and you got a call back for an interview.
Now it’s time to get to the real work: preparing for the interview process. Don’t panic. There are a few steps you can take to make sure you nail that meeting, leaving your prospective employer impressed and ready to hire you.
Go Armed With As Much Information As You Can
If you haven’t already, go to the website of the company you want to work for, Kristen Gray, an employment Counsellor with Job Gym, recommends.
You’ll want to print off their core values along with any other information you can find that might be helpful. Doing some research now can pay off in the long run.
When an employer asks you what’s important to you, using their core values, which usually include words like integrity and honesty, can be a huge game changer.
If they have a lot of charity work, don’t be afraid to mention your passion for giving back to the community.
“Employers like to feel they’ve been sought after because of the great work they do so it’s important to make sure you know a little bit about the employer you want to work for,” Gray explains.
“When you go in prepared, it shows you’ve done your research.”
Prepare Your Interview Outfit and Have a Back-Up Outfit
It’s also a good idea to pick out two outfits and set them out clean and ready to go the night before.
Life happens. You just never know when your kid will have a yogurt explosion on your outfit, or you spill coffee down your shirt and suddenly you’re in a rush to find something to wear.
You don’t want to be interviewed wearing a pair of rumpled jeans and a T-shirt because your best outfit is suddenly stained.
“Despite what some people may think, you don’t need a lot of money to dress to impress either,” Gray explains.
She recommends shopping at a gently used clothing store where there can be some inexpensive but professional options.
“You should keep looking when you go bargain shopping. Just because there wasn’t something great one week, doesn’t mean there won’t be a great find next weekend.”
Stay Away From Perfumes or Other Strong Scents
You’ll want to leave a lasting impression on your prospective employer, not a lingering smell.
Even if something smells good to you, Gray says not everyone may agree.
It’s important to keep in mind that people can be sensitive to smells so you’ll want to stay away from heavy perfumes, aftershaves, colognes, lotions and even some strong laundry detergents.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The best way to ensure success at an interview is to practice the night before. Some of the more common questions potential employers ask are how they’d deal with a difficult customer or a conflict in the workplace.
Don’t be thrown off when an employer asks you what your biggest weakness is.
“The weakness question is simple to answer,” Gray says.
Pick a legitimate weakness and provide a solution to overcoming it.
“I, myself can be a procrastinator in a non-busy work environment during slow times. Give me extra projects during these times and I thrive. I’ve told you a weakness, how to avoid it and I provided a solution,” she says
If you’re self-aware and working to improve yourself, an employer will respect that.
Perhaps the biggest pet peeve for employers is when people say their biggest weakness is something like “I work too hard,” or “I am a real overachiever” and they don’t explain what their weakness is.
“The goal is to hear how people answer it, learn an employee’s personality, find out if you have common sense,” Gray says.
If you put these tips into action before you head off to your interview, you’ll be glad you did.
Have questions? Don’t hesitate to call one of the experts at Employment Professionals Canada today.