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Preparation for an interview:
In order to make a good impression at your interview, as they say, do your homework beforehand. Gaining valuable knowledge about the company and its industry landscape allows you to better position yourself during the interview. Understanding the current status of a company will allow you to express how you can contribute, why you are a good fit and perhaps, even how you can expedite their growth. The rule of thumb is, the more you know, the more prepared you will be and the better the interview will go. This level of preparation will also help you feel more confident and professional during the interviewing process, leaving the interviewer with an impression of an interested and motivated prospect.

Know your resume and your relevant skill set:
It is always a good idea to review your resume before each interview. Bring several copies of your resume and if possible a list of references to any interview. Make sure the content and your materials are fully up-to-date. You should also practice your answers to common questions, such as why you left your previous job or why are you looking for a new position, etc... In addition, prepare a list of questions to ask the employer based on your research of the company and what you are looking to learn about the opportunity. Once in the interview, it can be helpful to gain a good understanding early on of what the interviewer is looking for in a potential candidate. Then apply your relevant skills when answering questions.

Dress professionally and comfortably:
Remember, first impressions are very powerful. When in doubt, dress conservatively, understated and neatly. The following is a list of suggestions for interview attire.

For women:
  • A straightforward business suit is best.
  • Closed toe, sensible shoes are preferable.
  • Make-up and perfume should be moderate.
  • Simple jewelry is recommended.
  • Hair and fingernails should be well groomed.
  • A pen and notepad are suggested for notes and questions.
For men:
  • A clean, ironed shirt and conservative tie are a must.
  • A simple jacket or business suit is a good idea, even if the company is business casual.
  • Shoes should be polished.
  • Face should be clean-shaven; facial hair should be neatly trimmed.
  • Hair and fingernails should be well groomed.
  • Cologne or after-shave should be used sparingly.
  • A pen and notepad are suggested for notes and questions.

Be on Time:
Making a good impression begins with being on time or even early to an interview. This is evidence of your commitment, dependability and sense of professionalism. If for some reason you are running late, be sure to contact the interviewer immediately so they can make any necessary accommodations. Be sure to turn off your cell phone before entering the building.

The Interview:
Confidence is imperative. Be positive and cooperative with all employees you encounter and greet each person you meet with a firm handshake. During the interview, sit up straight and work to establish a rapport with the interviewer. Lean in a bit when making a response, make eye contact with him/her and answer questions directly in a clear voice. Think of the interview as a conversation, not an interrogation, and remember that the interviewer is just as concerned about making a good impression on you.

It is in your best interest to ask about specific details of the job position early on, such as job functions, responsibilities and who you would report to. Then listen closely to the interviewer’s response, replying with information about your background that fits the job requirements. If applicable, provide examples of your previous experiences that relate to the functions necessary for the position. You should also share the benefits, both short and long term, you will bring to the organization. Lastly, avoid negative references to your current and previous employers. It is important to express your interest in the job opportunity and keep your questions pointed; relying on the ones you created before the interview. Too many questions about vacation, working hours, travel and pay may raise red flags, causing the interviewer to think you are more interested in taking time off than assisting in the growth of the company. As the interview closes, ask the interviewer if there are any concerns about your qualifications and the next steps in the hiring process. This will give you another chance to reiterate your interest in the job and your qualifications. End the interview with a handshake and thank the interviewer for his or her time. Call your Recruiter at Northbound immediately after the interview to debrief. We will follow-up with the client after the interview and it will help to know your feedback.

If you have any questions about any of the advice we provided, don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

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