Not only is it important to have a resume that shows your qualifications and experience, it is equally important to be socially and emotionally prepared for job interviews. This will ensure that you leave your interviews feeling cool and confident about your question responses and how you presented yourself. This article will outline one way to prepare before, one way during, and one way after.
Aligning Values: Evaluating Company Culture and Personal Fit
The first tip, and arguably one of the most important, is to research the company prior to your arrival to the interview. You can start your search by making sure you are comfortable with the company website, their Linkedin and social media accounts, along with having basic information about the company under your belt. After this, feel free to dive in deeper. Some important information to explore is the company culture, their competitors, industry data, mission statements, goals, target markets, key C-Suite positions name, where the company originated from and where they have offices, etc (University of North Georgia Career Services). Not only does this prove to the interviewer that you are serious about the position and are willing to put the time and effort into showing them this, it also benefits you (as the interviewee) as it ensures that you are viewing the company holistically. Although a high salary or benefits package can be attractive, do you feel as though you align with the company values and could see yourself fitting into the company culture? Researching the company before the interview can benefit both you and the interviewer, and shows that you are committed, serious, and really know what you’re talking about!
Introversion and Work Styles: Explaining Your Approach and Interactions
Once you are in the interview, highlight your personality! It is important to continue to be professional in the way that you carry and present yourself, but interviewers also want a holistic view of you, not just a face connected to a resume. Interviewers want to be able to see what your personality is like, and answer questions like; Does this person fit with our company culture? Could I see myself interacting and working with them everyday? How would other employees feel about working alongside them? For example, if you are commonly referred to as a humorous person, allow this to shine and crack a joke or two when appropriate. If you are creative and innovative, emphasize this through telling a story where you brought an original idea to a project or challenge. Are you more introverted than extroverted? Explain how this affects your work styles and throw in an example of how this influences your interactions. Along with knowing how to be confident and professional, knowing how to show your personality is incredibly important in interviews, and can allow you to relax and feel comfortable while sharing your answers and ideas.
Concise and Grateful: Crafting a Brief Thank You Note
Finally, a thank you note and follow up is the most important thing to do after the interviewer. Not only does it show the interviewer that you care about the job position, it shows that you are someone who is thankful for your opportunities. The best version of this is a handwritten thank you note, but before this an email can be sent within 12-24 hours. After, a handwritten note should be delivered within 48 hours of the interview, or as soon as possible (with mailing delays). Make sure to keep the note brief and concise while thanking the interviewer for their time and the opportunity, and to emphasize your looking forward to speaking again. Along with a thank you note, a follow up can also be sent. If you have not received contact from the company within 2-3 weeks, this is an appropriate time to send a followup containing a reiteration of your interest in the position, questioning if they need any other information from you, and listing how to contact you by phone and email (Shawnee State University Career Center). Both sending a thank you note and a follow up is one of the best ways to stand out among other candidates. It shows that you are grateful for the opportunity and makes the interviewer feel as though interviewing you was a great use of the company’s and their time.
Taking everything into account, being prepared for an interview is just as important as how you conduct yourself during and after the interview. Making sure to research the company and having a holistic view can ensure you are able to ask insightful questions, and showing your personality ensures the interviewer can view your entire “being”, and offer you a job based off of your emotional and social wellbeing instead of only your resume. Finally, writing a thank you note and sending a follow up will help you drastically stand out amongst other candidates, and will make sure you “nail” the interview form from start to finish!
“Preparing for an Interview.” Shawnee, https://www.shawnee.edu/career-services/resumes-cover-letters-interviewing/preparing-interview.
“Tips for a Successful Interview.” University of North Georgia, https://ung.edu/career-services/online-career-resources/interview-well/tips-for-a-successful-interview.php.
Types of Interviews – Csb.uncw.edu. https://csb.uncw.edu/servicelearning/pdfs/types%20of%20interviews.pdf.
“Types of Job Interviews: Morgan McKinley.” Types Of Job Interviews | Morgan McKinley, 13 Aug. 2020, https://www.morganmckinley.com/article/different-types-job-interviews-and-what-expect.