Professional Staffing Blog

Got the interview? Make it great, part two: Three attention-grabbing tips to get you from “next, please” to the next round

Last week’s blog discussed the preliminaries – the prep you should do to help make your interview a success. This week, I discuss what to do once you’ve made it past the receptionist and into my office.

Tip: Share your accomplishments.
Let me know what you learned at your former jobs and how your efforts made a difference. Tell me about a problem and how you resolved it, or how you mentored junior staff if that was part of your job description. But please – don’t oversell yourself (or sell your co-workers short). Don’t tell me you built the website at your last company unless you actually work in HTML5, CSS or JavaScript. But do tell me who was on the project team: product managers, writers, designers?  Giving your colleagues credit tells me a great deal about your ability to collaborate.

Tip: Have questions as well as answers.
I know you’re looking for work. I also want to know what it is that you want to know. You’ve already researched the company online (see last week’s blog, Tip 1). What detail sparked your interest? Perhaps you hope to pursue an MBA. Ask about the company’s management training options and tuition support. Maybe you’d like more information on the organization’s community outreach endeavors. Be sure to have a solid list of questions for me.

Tip: Why you?
As I said in the opening, there are many people seeking work and all have something to offer. I know you did well at your last job – that’s why I’ve invited you to interview. This puts you in an excellent position. Now, convince me to move you to the next step in the employment process. Summarize your strengths and reiterate your interest in joining the company. Be honest about what you’re looking for and optimistic about your chances.

A final thought:
Unfortunately, not everyone can advance in the process. Sometimes, schedules and internal pressures shift the best-laid interview plans in another direction, and hiring timelines are suddenly accelerated. While that’s not what a strong, round-one candidate wants to hear, it is a reality. So, while I may not bring you back for a follow-up interview, I will remember you and, whenever possible, keep you in mind for future staffing opportunities.

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