Making the Interview Process a Success.
Once your Rice Professional Search representative has secured an interview for you, it’s up to you to sell yourself to the prospective employer. As a result of your diligent preparation and rehearsal, you should feel confident and prepared for your interview presentation.
- Here are a few things to keep in mind before and during the interview:
- Your physical appearance is as important, initially, as your interviewing skills and credentials. Dress attractively, but conservatively, even if you tend to be more flamboyant normally.
- Be punctual. Arriving five or ten minutes early is fine, but no earlier. It appears to be putting pressure on your interviewer. If it seems you’ll be late, even if it’s only five or ten minutes, be sure to call with an explanation. If it’s feasible, make a test run to the interview location before your meeting. Check out the parking facilities, correct entrance to the office, etc. And, if your interview is during rush hour, allow for extra travel time.
- If you complete an application before the interview, remember that salary shouldn’t be discussed until after an offer is made or is imminent. Leave that section blank.
- When the interviewer greets you, offer a smile, a firm handshake (not a knuckle breaker, of course) and look him/her straight in the eye. Making eye contact establishes your confidence.
- Elaborate. Your résumé is the “sales tool” that got you the interview. The interview is your opportunity to expand upon your résumé information and sell yourself. Say enough to get your point across without over-answering.
- Don’t inquire about benefits (vacation time, benefit plans, bonuses, etc.) during the first interview. You should concentrate your discussion on the position’s responsibilities and future growth potential. The interviewer will mention benefits when he/she feels it is appropriate.
- If you’re offered the position and it meets with your expectations, accept it! If you’re ambivalent, don’t refuse the offer outright. Thank the interviewer(s) enthusiastically and ask for some time to consider. This will give you some time to think about it and to discuss some of your concerns with your Rice Professional Search consultant. Your representative can often negotiate in your favor on conditions that might otherwise prevent you from accepting the offer.
- If you’re not offered the position at the interview, be realistic. Frequently, other people must be consulted before the offer is extended. Or, the hiring official may want to discuss your candidacy further with your Rice Professional Search representative. Also, other candidates may be scheduled for interviews, and the hiring official may want to complete that process before making a decision.
Send A Follow-up Letter Immediately
After your interview, follow up immediately with an e-mail thank you note to the interviewer(s). Whether you’ve been offered the position or are still under consideration, this serves to strengthen your position in terms of professionalism. The letter should convey thanks for the opportunity to interview, plus emphasize your enthusiasm for the position and the company. Include any thoughts about the position’s responsibilities and what contributions you can make that may or may not have been discussed during the interview. Close your correspondence by stating that you look forward to further discussion about the opportunity. If a second interview was mentioned, say that you’ll follow up with a phone call within a couple of days to schedule that meeting.
In addition to composing your thank you note, it is very important to contact your Rice Professional Search consultant. He or she has been doing most of the legwork for you, up until the interview stage. Immediately after the interview, call your representative to provide comprehensive feedback on how the interview went. This will your consultant an accurate recap to help strategize a follow-up approach with the hiring official. Your Rice Professional Search representative will continue to coordinate the hiring process by arranging any subsequent interviews, salary negotiation and relocation requirements, establishing a starting date and resolving any open points in terms of questions on either side of the process.
You’re now ready to engage in the interview process. The key is preparation so you can sell your greatest assets. At Rice Professional Search we handle the opening and the closing, but you are the only person who can provide the fine details that matter the most to the prospective employer. Be confident. Enjoy the moment. This promises to be a great experience if you want it to be.