Recruiter Advice: Impress Me at the Interview
This is my third blog article about tips for getting that next great job. I’m going to assume you’ve followed my previous tips to get my attention with a great on-line resume/CV or you have differentiated yourself at a career fair. Congratulations. You’ve been invited to interview on-site with managers from my company. Don’t lose your momentum now!
Before the Interview
Research the division of the company you are interviewing with. The Internet is full of information. Try to find the business’ annual report, which is full of useful business data. What site are you visiting? What type of work occurs at that site? Study the produce lines, services, earnings, culture, and values.
Anticipate the questions you might be asked. Are you familiar with behavioral-based interviewing? You may be asked questions where you are required to provide examples, such as “Tell me about a time when you had to sell a tough idea. How did you do it? What were the results?” Know your strengths and weaknesses. I suggest you prepare in advance and think about all those impressive projects you worked on. Remember the challenges and the great results. Be prepared to connect specific examples of your past successes to the questions the interviewer asks, so they know how you excelled in the past. You might feel more comfortable if you rehearse in advance.
Cover the logistics. Do you have directions to the site? Do you need to bring an application or other forms to the interview? Do you know exactly where you are meeting your first interviewer or greeter and when?
Plan to arrive early. This is important if you get lost, stuck in traffic or need to go through security. Since you are early, you might have wait a few minutes at the office of your interviewer. Just relax and gather your thoughts. Be respectful and polite to everyone you meet. From the person at site security to the managers administrator…everyone has feedback about you. Impress them all. As your interviewer, I will be ready at the exact time we arranged, so just be patient. I probably have a meeting right before our interview, so our interview will not start early because you have arrived early.
During the Interview
It’s most important to be honest and be yourself. You’ve researched the company. You are prepared with specific examples of past successes. You are poised and you are prepared to confidently answer our questions that will highlight your skills and abilities.
Don’t ramble on and on and on. The interviewer has many things to discuss with you. Answer the question, but be conscious that your answers aren’t too long. Get to the point!
Make sure you have questions. At the end of every interview, most interviewers will ask you if you have questions. Prepare some in advance just in case. Never say, “I think you have addressed everything in this interview. I don’t have any questions.” Always ask one or two questions of the interviewer, if they give you the opportunity. Your questions reveal a lot about you. They show your interest in the company and the career opportunity. It’s best if you have different questions for each interviewer, but you can ask each interviewer the same two questions, and then compare their answers.
Lastly, be prepared with a strong closing comment. You may want to offer relevant information that you may not have had an opportunity to share earlier or to summarize your ideal fit for the job.
After the Interview
Confidently shake hands with your interviewer and move on.
Reflect on the interview. What went well? What didn’t go well? What questions surprised you? Did you have enough great examples to share?
If you were confidently able to answer the interview questions and impressed everyone you met on interview day, perhaps they’ll make you a job offer. If not, take the lessons learned from this interview and strive for success next time. You always want to improve your interviewing style, so you can get the next great job. Good luck!
Kim is the U.S. recruiting and staffing leader for three of GE’s technical businesses: Energy, Aviation, & Transportation. In addition, her team is overseeing the recruiting and staffing of thousands of key roles at GE’s new Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center in Van Buren Township, Michigan. Ten years ago, her first recruiting role was to hire interns and new college grads for the technical leadership programs in GE Energy. Prior to her current role, she has also led recruiting efforts to hire key IT professionals during the “dot-com hiring surge” and hundreds of engineers for key turbine technology development programs. In her spare time, you can find Kim watching independent and foreign films or traveling around the Northeast and the globe. As her picture suggests, traveling is her favorite pastime, when she’s not recruiting for GE.