6 Steps to a Successful Interview

September 14, 2015 Amber Kapish
How To Have That "It" Factor

Once you have decided on a potential career path, completed your LinkedIn profile, and perfected your resume, the next (and often final) step in securing a new job is the much-anticipated interview. Whether on the phone or in person, an interview can make or break a job opportunity. Our fourth and final installment in this recruitment blog series will provide six quick tips for making your interview a successful one.  

So, the "it" factor.

Often it's the subtle, understated moments in an interview that take a particular candidate from good to great. If you have landed an interview, you have already caught your potential employer’s attention on paper. So in the initial stages of the interview process for a new job, how do you stand out from the crowd?

Consider the following tips:

1. Preparation

Prepare, prepare, prepare! This is not a myth. One of the most important steps you can take in the interview process is doing your homework. Spend time researching the company as well as the individuals whom you will be meeting with. Look closely at the following:

  • Company’s website
  • Company’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, etc.)
  • The LinkedIn profiles of individuals you will be meeting
  • Latest news on company, their industry and their competitors

 As you do your homework, begin preparing questions to ask the interviewer such as “What does success look like in this role?” or “How long have you been with the company and what is your favorite part about working here?”.

Remember that the interview process is a two-way street. You are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. Make sure you come prepared to discover if this is the best job for you.

 

2. Arrival and Attitude

It's often said that a first impression is the most important. Be sure to always arrive early to your interview and allow yourself plenty of time for small things such as find parking and the right building number. As soon as you arrive, turn all cell phones and other technology completely off – the last thing you want is your interviewer to have a first impression of you looking down at your phone.

Also, interviewers (like most people) are attracted to positive, upbeat people. Your initial attitude could make or break an interview. Make sure you project positive, upbeat energy and answer all questions and small talk with enthusiasm and style.

 

3. Connect

Remember, we spend around 45 hours per week at work. When hiring for a position, a manager wants to make sure an individual is a good fit for the role from a skill standpoint, but also someone that fits the team culture and is someone whom they can connect with outside of the execution of projects and tasks.

Be aware of your surroundings if you are in an interviewer’s office. Notice visible elements such as photos, plaques, artwork, books, etc. of which you can mention to make a small connection. You may be surprised how sometimes the personal connections are what will make you memorable and may even secure you a second interview.

 

4. Be Professional

You’ll stand out to any potential employer by demonstrating passion, adaptability and professionalism.

Be prepared to show how your passion for what the interviewer wants could help make a difference in the company in some way. It’s important to showcase yourself as a team player and someone who is willing to “roll up their sleeves” to get the job done. Even if you have great people and project management skills, be sure to highlight how you will jump in as needed in order to "make it happen."

As you speak, remain professional in your response and in your tone of voice. Coming off too-confident or self-important may hurt you more in the run long. No one is perfect, and demonstrating a level of humility and a willingness to learn will actually work to your advantage.

 

5. Compensation

While the goal of any job is to ultimately get paid, this can be a very delicate topic to approach in an interview. The best advice is to wait for the interviewer to initiate the topic. Be prepared to state either your current salary or desired salary-level with benefits. Be sure to demonstrate you are more interested in the opportunity to work and grow within your new role than about the salary-level (as you trust that the compensation will be fair).

Bonus: Do extended research prior to the interview to better understand the market value of the position you are applying for within the city that you live.

 

6. Follow-Up

Always remember to send a brief “thank you” email or note within 24 hours following the interview. Since you probably took notes during the interview, include something that resonated with you or a personal connection you made with the interviewer. Also, this process is not as common as you may think and is something that is sure to get you noticed.

 

Looking to put these skills to the test with a career at a successful media sales organization? Cox Media is always looking for top talent to join our team. Learn more about job openings and potential career opportunities here.

About the Author

Amber Kapish

Amber Kapish is a Sr. Marketing Specialist for Cox Media where she oversees social media strategy and over-arching brand campaigns. Amber has a passion for employee engagement and currently serves as the Event Coordinator for the Cox Communications Young Professionals and member of the Cox Communications National Diversity Council.

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