If you land an interview with a company, it's likely because your resume and qualifications make you a good fit for the job. So when you advance to the interview process, you are already in the second round. The interview with a manager is your opportunity to discuss your experience, training, competencies and communication skills. Because your interview with a manager will go into a lot of depth about your qualifications, you should focus on impressing the manager to secure the job.
Study industry trend reports, news articles and company documents before going to the interview. Research the company as though you're already an employee. Whenever you read an article or story about the company, jot down a couple of thoughts you can use to formulate questions during the interview. You will impress the manager when you can display your knowledge of his company and industry.
Write down a list of interview questions and rehearse your answers. Videotape your sessions, if possible, so you can do a more thorough review of your performance. Wear something similar to what you plan to wear on the day of your interview. Your physical appearance determines how well you project yourself during an interview. Practice your interview answers repeatedly until your responses sound natural and unrehearsed.
Greet the manager with a firm handshake and a smile. If you are offered a glass of water, accept it graciously. You might need to take a swallow or two while you construct an answer to a particularly difficult question. Ask if he would mind if you take a few notes during the interview. This demonstrates a sincere interest in the interview process and gives you information you can use later when writing a thank-you note.
Give complete responses to the manager's interview questions. If you don't understand the question -- or, you need a few seconds to process an answer -- ask him to repeat the question. Make sure you answer the question thoughtfully and honestly, and be specific. For example, if you are asked to describe the way you handle interpersonal conflict in the workplace, provide details and examples of techniques you have used in the past, and tell the interviewer how those techniques worked. Also, never follow up your answer with a remark like "Is that what you were looking for?" or "I hope that's the answer you were looking for." These kinds of remarks make you seem patronizing and unsure of yourself.
State your interest in moving forward in the selection process. This kind of forthrightness following an interview illustrates initiative and decisiveness. For example, say, "I really enjoyed our meeting and I'd like to advance to the next round in your selection process. How soon will you be short-listing candidates?" On the other hand, if you're no longer interested in the job based on what you've learned, be pleasant about the experience and thank the manager for her time.
- Select appropriate interview attire that gives you confidence in yourself. The better you feel about your physical appearance, the more confident you will be about your performance during an interview.
- Write a thank-you as soon as your get home to tell the manager how much you appreciated her time. Restate your interest and list of couple of reasons why you are a good fit for the role. Send your thank-you note to her right away. Even if you are no longer interested in the job, send a thank-you to let the interview know you appreciated the time she set aside to meet with you.
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