No interaction is more important to landing your dream job than the interview.
Get a Head Start
One of the most valuable advantages that a candidate gains when they apply through Squamish Personnel rather than directly to a company is that our client relationships allow us to give candidates an inside glimpse of the prospective employer. Before you have your first interaction, we will share details on the company, its culture and its history, as well as job specifics and salary range. Before you walk through the door, you will have enough information to decide if you have a genuine interest in the job and assurance that it meets your needs.
Preparation Wins the Game
While Squamish Personnel will provide you with valuable insights, before any interview you should spend at least an hour prior to the interview getting ready to put your best self forward – and we don’t just mean ironing your best suit (although that often goes a long way…). Here are some of the basics:
- Have a good look at their website and sponge up as much as you can. Read about their history and people. What are their primary services? What makes them unique and gives them advantages over their competition? How would you add benefit to the company and help them serve their customers better?
- If you don’t already, follow the company on social media – Linkedin, Twitter & Facebook in particular – as this shows initiative & social media awareness. You can also learn a lot about whomever you are meeting as well as other employees at the company from their individual Linkedin profiles.
- Get Googling and see what else you can learn about the company. Have they been in the news? Do they have a blog? What are their ratings and what do their customers say about them? Who are their main competitors?
- Be prepared to talk about yourself. Know your resume so you are not stumbling on questions about dates, responsibilities or skills sets. Think about your key strengths and weaknesses and be prepared to discuss them. Prep a couple of on-the-job success stories that highlight your unique talents. Think of ways that you could contribute to the company’s own success. And be prepared to tell them why you would like to work there.
- Think of some questions to ask during the interview. Because when they ask you if you have any questions (and they will!) saying “no” is the kiss of death – be ready with some intelligent, well thought-out questions that show how interested you are in the position and how well prepared you are to work for them. Click here for ideas..
A Little Polish and Shine Creates a Great First Impression
There’s nothing more relevant to landing a dream job than the old adage:
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
Many prospective employers make up their minds about a candidate within 2 minutes of meeting them and it’s often as simple as a “Pass” or “Fail”.
- Polish up your digital image and be prepared to be Googled. One of the first things that modern day businesses do before meeting a candidate is look up their profiles online – Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat… it’s all fair game. So make sure that you’re digital self is looking good and anything ‘incriminating’ or out of date is given a bit of attention.
- Squamish is a casual place but you should always dress appropriately for an interview. This means ‘dress to impress’ in appropriate business clothing and be clean shaven and well groomed no matter how entry level the position is. Employers want to hire people with future potential who will make them look good with their customers
- Take a moment to comb your hair and freshen your breath before walking in the door- but never chew gum during an interview.
- Turn your cell phone off before showing up at the company’s office.
- Arrive 5-10 minutes early and do not be late for any reason. Make sure you know where you are going ahead of time and leave nothing to chance.
6. Smile and be friendly with everyone. The receptionist is often asked for impressions of people that come for interviews – not being friendly to them is a big mistake.
Sharpen your Interview Skills
Improving your interview technique will provide you with a powerful weapon in your career search. Many job seekers leave an interview feeling that they could have done better so it’s important to master these skills:
- Introduce yourself, make eye contact with your interviewer and offer a handshake with a moderate grip.
- Listen carefully and answer every question clearly. Diffuse any potential areas of concern the interviewer may have as to your suitability for the position.
- Watch your posture and body language in the interview. Casual body language could be interpreted as laziness.
- Maintain eye contact with the interviewer(s).
- Always be positive and upbeat. Never make negative comments regarding previous employers or positions.
- Don’t talk too much, stay on topic and don’t be afraid of short silences. The interviewer may be reading your resumé or thinking about the next question.
- Ask questions. This is your chance to build rapport with the interviewer and to clarify your understanding of the job. This shows a genuine interest on your part. Click here for great ideas about the best questions to ask.
- Thank your interviewer for their time and let them know that you are interested in the position prior to leaving.
9. Use the interview as an opportunity to confirm if this is the right position and company for your next career step.
- Send the interviewer a thank you email or card. Ensure that it is 100% accurate with no grammatical or spelling errors.
- Contact Squamish Personnel Solutions immediately following your interview. Our job is to follow up with our client (the company) and your honest feedback is critical for this next step.
- Contact past and current employers / direct supervisors and ask them if they would be willing to provide you with a reference. And if there is any doubt as to what they will say about your past performance or why you left, ask.
- Fill out a SPS reference form (link) and send it to Squamish Personnel as we will be doing reference checks on behalf of the company once the interview is over if you have passed the test.
- Don’t hesitate to contact Squamish Personnel Solutions if you haven’t heard after a few days.
- And please be patient – sometimes the process takes longer than anticipated and it is our job to work with you to reach your career goals.