Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Interviewing 101: Tips from the Interviewer

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Happy hump day, ladies and lads!

Elise and I are gearing up for finals as I'm sure most of you are. If you're already done with your finals, I'm incredibly jealous but that'll subside after I get through the next two weeks.

Currently I'm in a social media class, which is being taught by a part-time faculty member whom is also the vice president of a prominent PR firm in metro Detroit. As I continually preach, having active pros teaching classes is one of the perks of Wayne State.

She is also the firm's resident interviewer. Recently, she posted a status on Facebook about preparing to interview for the next batch of interns. Of course having a bunch of like-careered friends, the post unintentionally spawned a forum for posting likes and dislikes about interviewees.

So behold, a list of interview tips straight from the interviewers:
  • Arrive 5 - 10 minutes early: Any earlier and the interviewer may feel bad for leaving you sitting in the waiting room. Don't make the interviewer feel guilty.
  • Wear a suit: It's a legit fact that nine out of ten times the person wearing a suit (doesn't have to match!) will get the job or the call back.
  • Research: Researching the company you're interviewing with should be one of your top three priorities when prepping for an interview.
  • Ask questions: Make sure you're asking company- and position-specific questions. An interviewer knows when you're using generic questions.
  • Bring your portfolio: A hardcopy is fine, but make sure you have samples to leave with the interviewer. The other option is having a digital portfolio on a USB drive (people will forget to check a link or misplace a business card) to leave.
  • Shut off your phone: No excuses.
  • Stand and shake hands: When the interviewer enters and exits the room, stand and shake his or her hand.
  • Salary: Never ask about salary in the first interview. If they tell you, great. If they don't, don't ask.
  • Thank you notes: Sending thank yous, snail mail or email, is another tally in your favor. If you really want to send snail mail, make sure to grab a business card from each person you encounter. Typically if you send just the interviewer a thank you, it will get circulated around the office. For brownie points, send the receptionist/first-person-you-come-in-contact-with a thank you as well. Their opinion may make or break your hiring/call back.
What tips and tricks do you have for interviewing? Let's us know! Shoot us an email or chirp us!

Good luck with finals (and interviews), kiddies!

- J

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