You've likely gone through a phone screening before receiving the request to come in for an interview. This is a good sign because you did something right to impress and make a mark for yourself with the employer.
Related: Information You Must Have Before Your Interview
Now, the real make or break moment is here because you're just steps away from the potential of a job offer. But, before you get too excited, know how to ace the in-person interview too. Every employer works differently, so don't be surprised if you're asked to come back into the office more than once.
Whether the in-person interview will be with someone from HR, the manager and staff on the team or the head of the department, know how to make an impressive mark with these tips:
1. Understand who you are meeting with.
When scheduling the phone interview, ask who you will be meeting with. This will give you a chance to research the individual and better prepare yourself on responses for the interview.
For example, if you are applying for an IT position and the meeting is with the hiring manager, you may want to use language the general layperson will understand when discussing successful outcomes from specific projects you worked on.
If on the other hand, the meeting is with the person who will be overseeing your work if hired, getting into deep technical terms is reasonable. The point here is to know your audience so that you can communicate with them effectively. So, make sure you check them out on LinkedIn.
2. Remember, it's not about you - It's about what you can do for the employer.
When you talk about yourself, talk with the purpose to demonstrate how your specific experiences and skills can help the employer. Any successes or accomplishments you speak of should support the message of “This is how it can help your company." Keep a balanced conversation with the interviewer because as much as they want to understand how you fit into their needs, the more you can understand what their needs are, the better you can respond to questions.
3. Treat each question like it's new.
After meeting 2-3 people or coming back to the office for the third time, it can start to feel repetitious, especially with questions they ask of you. You may say to yourself, “Didn't I already answer that before?" Even if that may be the case, don't express any annoyance. You want to treat the question like it's new because the people from the employer's end are looking for you to respond enthusiastically and they may be testing you to ensure you are consistent with what you've said before.
4. Be punctual and dress the part.
Impressing takes a lot of effort, but only one small mistake is needed to ruin it all. Always plan ahead for a job interview and make appropriate calculations as to how much time you need to travel to an on-site interview. When you're not punctual with your appointment time, it leaves the employer with a negative impression. Impressing employers also means dressing the part for the job. If you're interviewing for an executive position but come in dressed without a suit jacket, it may be hard for the employer to envision you in the role even if you have the experience and skills for it.
5. Ask questions and build rapport.
A large part of the hiring decision comes down to whether the employer likes you and gets a sense that you belong. People hire people they like, so while impressing with your credentials, don't forget to let your personality come out. Your goal is to turn the interview into a 2-way conversation with an engaging back and forth discussion vs. a formal question-answer-next question-answer. Building rapport in part has to do with body language and knowing what questions to ask. For more tips, read “3 Ways To Build Rapport and Ace The Interview."
As stressful and as nerve-racking the interviewing process is, preparation is key. Do your research ahead of time and tie in these general tips to perform your best!
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About the author
Don Goodman's firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert.