Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Do Your Homework: Little things can set you apart from other candidates. Research the company you will be interviewing with. Many companies today have Web sites. Visit their Web site and read up on the company history, structure, products, and services. Talk with your MATRIX Associate about the position so that you have a clear understanding of what the organization is looking for.
Know Your Experience: Make sure you are able to talk about your roles and responsibilities, the projects you’ve worked on, and their benefits or results.
Fill Out Your Pre-Interview Worksheet: Completing the Pre-Interview Worksheet will help you remember important points you want to make about your experience. It can also help you remember with whom, when, and where you’re meeting.
Refer Back to Your CareerCHART Model: Don’t forget to use your CareerCHART Model, and even to amend it from time to time based on any new skills you learn or changes in your preferences.
First Impressions Mean a Lot
Dress Appropriately: An interview is a professional business meeting; dress conservatively in accordance with the dress code for the company. If the company has a casual dress code, get direction from your MATRIX Associate as to the appropriate dress for the interview. You can always dress down later. Standard conservative dress for men consists of a dark business suit, white shirt, conservative tie, and shined shoes. For women, a dark suit or dress with matching shoes is appropriate.
Be Ten Minutes Early: Nothing bothers a busy manager more than waiting for a candidate who is late. It also makes for an awkward start to the interview. If the unavoidable happens—a traffic accident or illness for example—call your MATRIX Associate or interview contact immediately.
Greet with Confidence: Enthusiasm, together with a self-confident smile, will go a long way toward establishing the best first impression. Stand when greeting your interviewer, and give a firm handshake. Make eye contact. Model your posture, intensity, and speech patterns after that of the interviewer. Break the ice with a universal topic; avoid controversial issues. Remember that your interpersonal skills are just as important as your technical skills.
Goals of the Interview—Making It Count
Your Mission—Secure an Offer: It is your job to effectively present your skills and experience to the interviewer and to show how they relate to the open position. If anything comes up during the interview that may be an issue, just make a note. You can address any concerns you may have with your Associate after the interview—in most cases, any concerns you have about the opportunity can be resolved.
Get Your Questions Answered: Make sure you get any questions you may have about the position, responsibilities, or company answered during the interview so that you can determine if this is a good opportunity for you.