What to Know About In-Person Interviews
Ready for that face-to-face interview? Suppose an employer has responded to your job application. In that case, you may have already gone through several preliminary steps—like pre-assessments and phone interviews—to arrive at an in-person or video interview. It’s time to present yourself professionally—the interviewer (or interview team) will be assessing your attitude, personality, professional appearance, and qualifications.
In this article, we will discuss how to prepare for the three parts of the interview process.
Before the Interview
Prepare for Q&A
Research the company before your scheduled interview; things to research may include the job’s role and responsibilities and any information you can find or were told about in the interview process. 47% of recruiters say they would reject anyone who has little knowledge about the company or the job, according to LegalJobs.com. It also helps to practice interview questions in front of a mirror or in a mock interview with a friend.
Create an Elevator Pitch
This is essentially a brief persuasive statement of how your skills, work experiences, or abilities match the company’s job. Highlight your values and work ethic or how your previous responsibilities have prepared you for this new role. You can also discuss your career goals and how this job can help fulfill them. As a just-in-case, bring a printout of your résumé and references.
Curate Your Interview Outfit
Consider your appearance for an interview—you’ll want to dress for success! Looking professional can also boost your confidence in an interview. Keep in mind that the interviewer or interview team may have multiple interviews that day for the same job opening, so a positive first impression goes a long way in helping the employer remember you. In addition to a professional outfit, get a good night’s rest. This will contribute to your overall appearance and confidence level.
The Day of the Interview
Arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start. This gives you some additional time if you need help finding the right meeting room or location. At the interview, smile, introduce yourself, and shake hands with the interviewer or interview team. It’s important that throughout the interview, you smile and speak confidently and positively. According to Legal Jobs, 39% of candidates get rejected due to overall confidence level, voice quality, or lack of smile.
Take time to answer questions clearly and concisely. It’s okay to pause and think first; the interviewers will appreciate that you’re giving thoughtful consideration to their questions. Think of previous situations or experiences where you overcame a challenge or were able to contribute to a solution. These are the types of scenarios interviewers will want to hear about.
At the end of the interview, the interviewers may ask if you have any questions. This is a good time to ask questions that still need to be addressed. Be diplomatic, however, in your questions. For example, rather than saying, “How many more people will you interview for this job?” instead, try, “What is your timeline for filling this job opening?”
After the Interview
Send a Thank You Note
As you prepare to leave the meeting, thank the interviewers for their time today. Follow up the next day with an email to the interviewers or interview team, again thanking them for their time and efforts on your behalf. This gives you an opportunity to send a second email in a week to inquire if or when the job posting will be filled.
Follow Up with Another Email
The last email should address those skills or life experiences that make you a good fit for this job. You may also comment positively on one aspect of the company you learned about during the interview. In both emails, aim to build a positive relationship with the interviewer or team.
Increase Your Chances
While no position is guaranteed, following these steps before, during, and after the interview will greatly increase your job chances. Employers usually have a lot of applicants for one job opening. You want to leave a positive and lasting impression on the interview team and stand out from the crowd. If a job offer does not come your way, consider this interview a “dress rehearsal” for the next one—you’ll be even more prepared to land the job in the next interviews! Whatever happens, don’t be discouraged. On average, a job applicant has from four to ten interviews before receiving a job offer.