Interview advice – for candidates and leaders

How to prepare for an interview? Or if you are the leader – are the candidates your interviewing prepared?

An article in the Sunday, 5/22/16 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Steve Twedt) discussed how small-talk can derail a job interview. After working in HR for many years, I am often asked how you should prepare yourself for an interview. First, you should research the company and the job prior to going on the interview (especially if it is a publically traded company – the information is easy to find). You should dress for success and arrive early. Turn off your cell phone and put it away before you even walk in the door. You should treat everyone with respect regardless of the position they hold in the company (from the receptionist, to the maintenance person, to the CEO or president – everyone). Have a positive attitude and be prepared to provide examples of why you would be the ideal candidate for the position. Be concise with your responses (don’t go off topic or elaborate too much). Be honest. The overwhelming amount of research suggests that you should not ask about salary on your first interview. Always end the interview with thanking the person for their time AND follow-up with a thank you letter or email.

Although this may sound simple, it is amazing how many HR recruiters indicate that candidates do not follow the above advice. In a very competitive environment, you want to do your best. Good luck!