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Five Tips for a Winning Interview

We’re interviewing all the time: whether it’s for a brand new job, impressing senior management for a new promotion, or competing for your current position during times of organizational change. You may know the intricacies of your position, but the way you present yourself is often of more importance – and lasts longer in the memory of the interviewer – than your competency. Here are five things to keep in mind to set yourself apart and be prepared.
  1. Have an elevator speech prepared. It’s a thirty second response that needs to feel off-the-cuff, and should emphasize your experience and personal traits that both make you an excellent candidate for the position, and reveal something of interest about yourself. Start with your business or education credential to set the stage, and be sure to draw in something personal.
  2. Use LinkedIn to build relationships. If you know who will be conducting the interview, be sure to connect with them on LinkedIn so you are completely transparent about yourself. Your profile may have recommendations and information that you didn’t have room to fit on your resume. Connecting on LinkedIn also gives you the opportunity to view the interviewer’s background, and fish for ways to make a personal connection.
  3. Be informed about the organization. You may know the functions of the position, but do you know the industry and organization you’ll be working in? Spend a few hours on the company’s website and adjust your language, both in the interview and on your resume, to the company’s values, mission, vision and overall culture.
  4. Be confident, prepared, and respectful. You got the interview – that shows you show promise, now it’s time to show them who you are! Always err on the side of overdressing, bring multiple copies of your resume, and be on time.
  5. Be prompt with your follow up. After the interview, send a short email to express gratitude for learning more about the organization and position. You can use this note to ask a question that you might not have had time for in the interview. Never ask about salaries in the follow up. Keep a professional tone throughout the process.
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