Thursday, November 20, 2014

What to do on the day of the interview.

Ignore everyone that says the day before the interview is the most important. There is no more important day in a job hunt than the day you actually sit down and interview. Sure a lot of prep should be done the day before. Directions should be acquired, research done, cloths picked out, alarm set, etc., but there is nothing more important than what you do the day of your interview.

Waking up on time is the best way to start the day of the interview. Humans need time to fully wake up in the morning. It is important to have all of your mental faculties about you when you are interviewing. You never know what questions they are going to throw at you, and it is important to come off as sharp and alert. It just doesn’t look good if you have dark circles under your eyes and look obviously tired. Set an alarm early enough for you to wake up and get fully ready in a comfortable amount of time. Then set another alarm that would wake you up with just enough to get ready if you hurry a little. It may seem like overkill but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

This double check approach is something that can also be carried over into dressing for the interview. First impressions go a surprisingly long way, and the first aspect of that first impression is the way you look. Interview clothes should be picked out the day before an interview. This way there is no indecision the day of, or last minute panic when you realize your last clean dress shirt isn’t actually clean. When you are getting dressed, after you have showered and taken care of the other grooming necessities, take a little bit of time to double check that your clothes are not wrinkled, dirty, or ripped in any way. Right before walking out the door check two things. One, that you have extra copies of your resume, as well as a couple of copies listing references you can use if they are not on your resume already. And two, double check how you look. Make sure you have the right belt and shoes on and make sure that nothing is horribly out of place. After these double checks walk out the door feeling confident that you look good and are ready to ace the interview.

When driving to an interview, it is important to leave with a comfortable amount of time to get there. There is almost nothing more embarrassing than having to call the company and say you’ll be late because you were pulled over for speeding. This doesn’t look good to anyone and sends a horrible message before you even have a chance to meet your potential employers. Not to mention you will likely be flustered and distracted during the interview. Leave with plenty of time to spare,  it is important, however, to not show up super early either. As a general rule of thumb try to arrive at an interview no more than 15 minutes beforehand.  If you are going to be late, make sure to call someone at the company and let them know. This shows that you are proactive in dealing with problems, and it shows that you value the time the company is giving you.

The interview ultimately is the make or break point of the day. For all intents and purposes the interview starts the minute you pull into the parking lot. From here on out you should be on your best behavior. Have good posture, look everyone you speak with in the eye, be polite, nice, and courteous. You never know when the hiring managers are going to ask someone you wouldn't expect their opinion of you. A number of very successful companies employ this tactic. If you have arrived on time go to the bathroom after you have checked in. Having to use the restroom in the middle of an interview is a horribly uncomfortable experience. Once you are called to interview shake the interviewers hand firmly but not hard, make small talk while walking to the interview room, and don’t sit until they tell you to. Be on your best behavior! Once in the interview try to treat it less like an interview and more like a conversation. They are not grilling you hoping to find something wrong, they are trying to get to know you. Thinking of it as a conversation is a great way to relax and be more at ease when interviewing. Both of these characteristics look very good to an interviewer.

The most important thing is to know is that everyone is a little different in what they need to fully prepare for an interview. Some people might need to sit under a tree and meditate for 30 minutes beforehand, while other people might need to drink an extra cup of coffee and exercise for an hour. Everyone is different. The internet and your friends and family can give you advice and tips about what they do. These are good resources that should be pursued, especially for people who do not have much experience interviewing. Everything written above is simply a suggestion. Ultimately though, do what you need to. If the necessary individual steps have been taken the interview will go well. Once the interview is over there is nothing more you can do. Just sit back, relax, and wait for them to make a decision.  

Stay tuned for our next article on 12/04/14! Until then, feel free to catch up on our previous articles, and be sure to check out our pages on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for the latest news and opportunities available through Verum Staffing! If you are interested in speaking with us further regarding positions we have available, future opportunities, or interview/resume help, please apply at  to set up an informational interview. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Research the Company Before an Interview

Finally. Finally you have an interview lined up for a job you really want. Now what? You have two options.  Option one put on your best suit and walk into to the company the day of your interview ready to wing it. Option two is to do some research and walk in confident ready to ace the interview. The more logical choice is obvious here. Do your research. Research is a key component to interviewing successfully, and a key step in landing the job you really want.

The first step to take when researching a company is a very simple one. Google the company. Google will provide you with a number different avenues to explore when researching a company.  Googling directions before the interview can be very helpful. It will help you game plan for traffic, know a good route, and have a reference of what the building looks like from the ground if you use the streetview function. Other resources like news articles, Wikipedia articles, and social media sites will all provide you with some great general information on the company itself. They will give you an idea of the company’s public perception, and what they have been up to lately. Googling the company and taking the time to read some of the articles, reviews, and poke around the social media sites will provide you some great talking points and questions to ask. It is important to have a few good questions about your position or the industry as a whole to ask. Asking good questions and being able to have an informed discussion will help the interviewers realize that you are genuinely interested in the company.

The next step to take would be to look around the company’s website. Find their news section or “about us” page and do some reading. This will give you an idea of how they view themselves and how they want to be viewed by others. Often the best thing to do is to find the company’s mission statement. This is the best place to get a general idea of what the company is doing and how they want to be perceived by everyone. Let the mission statement inform your discussion with the recruiters. For example, if it mentions specifically taking an ethical approach to recruiting be sure to remember that and work it into the conversation, or be prepared for an interview question that deals with ethics. If you are unsure about the dress code for an interview this is also a good place to start. If everyone is wearing suits and looking serious you should probably also wear a suit. If there are people in lab coats or dressed down a bit you probably don’t need to wear a suit. As a general rule of thumb you should never dress less than business casual.

One of the last steps, if you have the names of the people you will be interviewing with, would be to do a bit of reconnaissance on the interviewers from the company. The best place to do this is on Linkedin. Looking at their Facebook profiles can come off as a bit creepy. Linkedin is a safe place to look and is built for researching specific people’s professional profiles or companies themselves. Briefly look at their profiles and try and find some common ground to talk about. Maybe you went to the same school, worked at the same place without knowing it, or enjoy the same activities.  You can be sure that the interviewers have googled you and looked at your profile. If you cannot find common ground just knowing what your interviewers look like or a little bit about their past work history can help your confidence tremendously when interviewing. It takes a little bit of the shock out of walking into the interview and seeing the people for the first time. 

Finally the last, and arguably the most helpful, thing is to see if you know anyone personally, through a friend, or through an alumni association who works for the company. Try and connect with them and ask them any questions you may have. Questions like: what is the dress code like, what were you asked when you interviewed, what’s the company culture like, etc. These are all very helpful things to know. Often times a person within the company is your best possible resource. They can give you an honest and trustworthy opinion of the company, as well as answer some questions if you cannot find the answers to on the internet. It would also be a great chance to ask them to be a referral if you feel comfortable doing so.

Researching the company provides a sense of confidence that will help you possibly ace the interview. It is not like studying for a test; you don’t have to have every little thing memorized and ready to fire back at the people interviewing you. You just need enough information to have insightful questions and be able to confidently speak with the interviewers. Bottom line, researching is for developing confidence and showing that you genuinely want to work for the company. A little bit of research goes a long way when it comes to landing the job.

Stay tuned for our next article on 11/20/14 where we will walk you through a game plan of what to do the day of your interview. Until then, feel free to catch up on our previous articles, and be sure to check out our pages on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for the latest news and opportunities available through Verum Staffing! If you are interested in speaking with us further regarding positions we have available, future opportunities, or interview/resume help, please send apply through our site  to set up an informational interview.