Today is going to be all about interviewing for a job. I have been on many a job interview and although they are all very similar, there are definitely differences. Most of the interviews I have been on have been social work related, but I also recently applied to be a Barista at Starbucks.
How to Prepare
- Make sure to do your homework. Companies love an applicant that have taken the time to find out about not only the position they are applying for, but also the company as a whole. Know a bit of history and the mission statement of the company can make a huge difference in how the interviewer sees you.
- Take time to practice. Call your best friend or sit down with your better half and have them ask you questions. There are sites out there on the interweb that have examples of many companies interview styles and some questions. One of those sites is Glass Door. This site also has a lot of information on salaries.
- Dress for the job when you interview. If you are applying and interviewing to be a secretary don't wear jeans and on the opposite spectrum if you are interviewing to be a Barista don't come in a tuxedo. Shoot for wearing the dress code of the other people doing the job you want.
- Take some time the day before the interview to relax. Interviews are stressful. Do something that calms you down and gets you in a relaxed state of mind.
What to Expect
- Lots of questions! That's what an interview is. Questions are a way for the company to find out about you, your skills, and how you would fit into their work environment. Although sometimes it may seem the questions have no rhyme or reason the interviewers have put a lot of thought into them and are using them to see both how you respond and how you react.
Here are some of the craziest interview questions according to GlassDoor.com
- Procter & Gamble: Sell me an invisible pen.
- Facebook: Twenty five racehorses, no stopwatch, five tracks. Figure out the top three fastest horses in the fewest number of races.
- Citigroup: What is your strategy at table tennis?
- Capital One: How do you evaluate Subway's five-foot long sub policy?
- Lubin Lawrence: If you could describe Hershey, Godiva and Dove chocolate as people, how would you describe them?
- Kiewit Corp.: What did you play with as a child?
- Diageo North America: If you walk into a liquor store to count the unsold bottles, but the clerk is screaming at you to leave, what do you do?
- Brown & Brown Insurance: How would you rate your life on a scale of 1 to 10?
- UBS: If we were playing Russian roulette and had one bullet, I randomly spun the chamber and fired but nothing was fired. Would you rather fire the gun again or respin the chamber and then fire on your turn?
- Merrill Lynch: Tell me about your life from kindergarten onwards.
- Take time to think about the questions before answering them. It's an interview not a race. Sit there and let the question soak in before you start answering. This gives you time to put together a great answer and not just ramble the first thing that comes to your mind.
- Make sure to ask questions of your own. Have some put together before you go to your interview. Again this shows you are interested and want to know more, and always let the interviewer bring up your salary.
How to Follow-Up
- Always call after a couple of days if you haven't heard anything. Call and tell them how much you enjoyed interviewing and how much you are looking forward to working with the company. Then ask if a final decision has been made on the position. By doing this you are not letting the people firing forget you and you are also finding out where they are in the process of choosing someone.
- Send a thank you card if the business is a more formal one. People love to hire thoughtful employees. By taking the time to write a handwritten letter and send it, you are showing that hiring person you are willing to go above and beyond what is required.
- Once again relax. It can be even more stressful waiting for a call saying you have the job then it is going in to interview. Sometimes it takes awhile to make the decision depending on the business and how many applicants there were. Don't get discouraged until you hear something definite.
Last but most certainly not least, let your personality show through. Companies know they are hiring real people and not just robots show them that genuine person. It is always better to be quirky from the beginning!