There are certain Interviewing strategies and resources that will get you hired in Minnesota no matter what job opportunity you’re looking at. Minnesota has the most diverse range of finished products and services industries with agriculture still playing a major role in its economy – no matter what you specialize in you’ll find the kind of job that suits you most.
And despite that diversity there are some strategies that apply across all job opportunities and interviews to greatly improve your hit rate. These three tips are not hard to implement and will almost certainly guarantee interview success for you.
1. Know the company, know yourself and know thy opponent.
It is sometimes astonishing how often this basic, basic point will get overlooked. Do your research! Learn about the company you’re applying to – what are its strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments and visions? What does the job you’re applying for entail and why are you best suited to it? (Here we get to knowing yourself.)
Think about your strengths, weaknesses and motivations. Do they complement or suit the job? Think of concrete examples from previous jobs or experiences that you can apply here to illustrate to the interviewer that you are a perfect match for them.
Know your resume inside out – it’s a fair bet your interviewer will try to ‘trap’ you by asking something about your resume they think you’re not familiar with. And assuming you do know your resume, why are you better than anyone else out there? (And here we get to knowing the competition.)
Who else is out there? What kinds of other people will be applying? If you know any of them, think of qualities about you that set you definitively apart, make you unique and then play them up as much as you can.
2. Make that first impression a rock solid one.
Ever heard ‘You can only make a first impression once’? Nowhere does it apply as compellingly as at a job interview. Look good, feel good and walk tall. Smile as you make eye contact and give the interviewer a firm (but not hard!) handshake. It helps to set a positive tone for the rest of the interview but make an effort to keep it that way throughout.
Remember, making eye contact demonstrates confidence and self-respect. (Just don’t stare at the interviewer; it is okay to break eye contact occasionally.) Your body language also, consciously and subconsciously, communicates your levels of self-esteem, energy and poise.
Finally, be yourself. This doesn’t mean lounging in your chair and goofing off. But if, for instance, you are a calm, laid-back sort of person, let that come out while at the same time letting the interviewer know you can really hustle when the situation requires it.
3. The before and after.
They’re called interview emergency kits and they include copies of your resume, directions to the office, the interviewer’s contact number, a bottle of water, eye drops, a pen and notepad and so on. These kits are for any kind of emergency before and during the interview. Don’t take the entire kit into the interviewer’s office, only copies of your resume in a folder.
And, again, astonishing how little this tip is followed through on. Send a thank you note to the interviewer. An email is fine nowadays, as is a handwritten card if you can get it sent by the next morning. Time is of the essence so put in that little extra to get ahead in the game.