The purpose of the "big six" marketing tools is to get you an interview.  An interview is defined as anytime you are talking (by phone or in person) with the person who has the power to hire you (or who can influence the person who has the power to hire you).  Below are keys for interviewing with confidence:

  • "Research" yourself: Review your skills, noting the ones that particularly apply to the position for which you are interviewing. Develop examples of how you have used these skills and what results you have obtained. (This is called “proving your skills.”) A major reason for extended unemployment is that 80% of job applicants can’t prove their top ten skills for the job for which they are interviewing.
  • Research the organization: Find out about the company's age, products and services, origin, its growth, corporate structure and prospects for the future. You can do this online, at your local library, or from a company's promotional materials and annual reports. Knowing this information will help you to answer the interview question: “What interests you about our company (agency, school)?”
  • Practice answering the frequently asked and “problem” interview questions. Being prepared to answer these questions will give you the confidence needed to interview well in every situation.
  • Review the "do's and don'ts" of effective interviewing.
  • Dress for the interview as if you were starting your first day of employment at the company. (Observe or ask about the dress code for the company.) If needed, ask for help in selecting what to wear from someone who dresses well.
  • At the interview: Arrive about 10 minutes early for your interview. Be polite to the receptionist and/or secretary (the boss may ask for feedback about you from his/her assistant). Take with you additional copies of your resume, letters of recommendation, etc., a pen to fill out forms, and a notebook to write down any important information.
  • Have an opening "sales presentation" (your Strengths Summary) in mind to respond to open-ended questions such as, “Tell me about yourself” or “Why should we hire you?”
  • Remember that the interviewer may be more nervous than you are (and, perhaps, less skilled in interviewing). There is a lot at stake in hiring someone.
  • Your job is to help the interviewer gain an accurate understanding of your qualifications for the position. If the interviewer isn't asking questions that give you an opportunity to talk about your skills and abilities, find ways to integrate the information into the interview.
  • A good interview should be a two-way conversation. Look for opportunities to ask questions to find out what you need to know to assess whether the job and organization would be a good fit for you.
  • Remember that you have the power to say no to a position if it is not right for you.
  • Ask any remaining questions you have.
  • Make sure to ask, "Can you tell me when you'll be making a decision?" or “Can you please tell me what the decision-making process will be for this position?” and/or “When can I expect to hear from you?”
  • Ask about salary, benefits, or vacation only if you have been offered the job or you know that you are being seriously considered for the position. If you ask about these too early, it may give the impression that you are more interested in what you will receive than what you will give to the job.
  • Remember that the interview stops only after you have left the premises in your car. You never know who may be observing and evaluating you when you are on the company grounds.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Send a thank you note within 24 hours. Sending a thank you note is a simple, yet powerful, way of standing out from other candidates for the position.
  • If you don't hear when expected, take the initiative! Be “gently persistent; “that is, “bug” them, but do it politely! For example, when you call back, you can say, "I was in to interview with you [one week, two weeks] ago for the ____________ position. I was calling to check in regarding where you are in the decision-making process."

Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.