Having a great resume is only a start. A great resume will not get the job. Employers use resumes as a front-end screen of a candidate's education level and skills to decide who they want to bring in to interview.
Getting the job offer comes from successfully interviewing, when the hiring manager decides you would be a good fit for their company and you are someone with whom they would want to work. There are some basic rules of a job interview that can cast you in a favorable light and leave a strong impression with potential employers.
Top 5 Job Interview Do's
Don't just show up for the interview and hope for the best. You need to be at your best to generate a job offer:
- Be prepared. Come prepared with as much information about the company and industry as possible. Prepare questions of your own. Good job candidates want to know that the company to which they are applying is a good personal fit as well.
- Be confident. Begin introductions with a firm but not overpowering handshake. No one likes having their hand put in a vice.
- Be engaging. Make eye contact often—a must. It shows confidence and connects you with the interview. Remember the interviewer's name, and use it during the interview to stay engaged.
- Be careful. Think before you speak! This might be the only chance you get to convince a prospective employer that you are the right person for the job. Your answers during the interview are as important as the image you cast.
- Be outgoing. Don't underestimate the power of a personal connection. If you can connect with your interviewer in a personal way, they may think you would be an enjoyable person to have in the office or on the team.
Finally, if the job is one you really want, follow up with a thank you note or email. This courteous gesture reconfirms your interest in the position and puts your name back in your prospective boss's mind.
Top 5 Job Interview Don'ts
Many people lose out to other job seekers for one or more of the following:
- Don't be late. Arrive 15 minutes early to allow time for possible delay and use the extra time to freshen up for the interview if you have arrived early.
- Don't be pushy about salary. Don't place a large emphasis on salary. The salary will only be discussed if and when the employer is sold on you as a candidate.
- Don't talk too much. Answer questions fluently and concisely, but give interviewers the opportunity to interrupt as needed.
- Don't exaggerate. Stick to the abilities you have, not those you wish you had. Be honest about your experience, emphasizing the positive, yet sticking with the truth.
- Don't over or underdress. You should determine beforehand if you should wear a business suit, or if a more business casual look is appropriate.
Getting a job involves marketing yourself to potential employers. This holds true no matter your education level, be it a high school diploma or graduate degree. Finally, remember that college programs or schools are no substitute for real-world work experience. If you have the ability to do a job, convincing an employer to hire you is all about how you demonstrate your past successes and skills.