The job search process is generally not an enjoyable experience: you edit and edit your resume and cover letter until your hands bleed, and yet still have to copy over the same facts to countless applications. As if this were the most difficult part, you then receive that long-awaited job interview, and then the pressure worsens!
Studies have shown that 33% of interviewers know within 30 seconds of meeting their interviewee whether or not they will hire them, so first impressions are crucial in this job searching process.
No matter how many times you’ve found yourself on the interviewee side of the desk, you may still find yourself wondering how does one actually prepare for the infamous job interview?
Perhaps one of the most common mistakes that can alter the results of a job interview is not properly budgeting time:
Whether you have a late start and are tardy to your interview, or the interview itself extends hours over what you had expected it to last, it is essential to set perimeters that will encourage a non-stressed mentality.
It can be a major red flag for a potential employer to waste their allotted time in order for you to show up to your appointment late, or conversely try to cut out of an interview prematurely.
If you believe time constraints are going to be an issue, prepare for it ahead of time by asking for a general time-frame to schedule around your current workload: any good potential employer should be willing to oblige!
Another area to prepare yourself head-wise is to be ready for just about anything:
Do your research beforehand and find as much information as you can about the company, culture, and current employees so that you will not be stunned the moment you walk through the door.
It is also essential to understand the role you are applying for as extensively as you can, and prepare for any tests or last minute “curveballs”:
A recent candidate reminisced about a potential job opportunity with a local college presented to her years ago. After meeting the one individual who she thought was her interviewer and engaging in small talk for a few minutes, she was led to a large room where over 25 individuals waited to begin her real interview. Taking it in stride, she worked through the questions and had a well-rounded interview, but never forgot the initial feeling of shock when she first entered that room!
Anyone will tell you to dress professionally, but your choice of dress should depend on the research you’ve done previously about the company and job opportunity:
If you are applying with a grade school for a cafeteria position, don’t come to the interview in high heels or a suit. Although a well-groomed look is essential, you want to be dressed for the job that you would like to secure, as well as be prepared to demonstrate your skills and expertise of the role on the day of your interview.
Sit down the night before your interview with your resume and job description in hand. Review each piece of these documents to scope out potential questions and prepare your answers ahead of time.
You want to speak with confidence about yourself, and not stumble over questions posed such as, “What would you say your biggest weakness is?”
Lastly, it’s important to align your negotiation tactics and expectations with what the employer is asking of you:
Understand the compensation structure to a point, but do not spend a majority of your interview harping on whether it’s a 10% or 15% bonus: you’re not at the offer stage yet, and this type of intensity regarding a salary that hasn’t yet been offered to you can be off-putting.
Also understand what documents you will be expected to provide if an offer is made and have them easily accessible for when the time comes. If all goes well, you will be able to stop filling out redundant job applications and focus on your new career!
Biotech Partners has years in the recruiting industry and has picked up many tips and tricks to the trade. Reach out to us today to learn about a few ways you can enhance your resume and be noticed by companies (in a good way!).