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The Last Step in Job Seeking: Interview Tips and Tricks

businessman handshakeIn today’s job market, getting to the interview stage of the hiring process is a feat in itself – but your job search isn’t a complete success until you actually get that hiring offer. And whether you’re applying for your first position with a company, or interviewing for a promotion from within, there’s no way around it: interviews are stressful. You can alleviate some of that stress, and better your chances of success, by following these general interview tips and tricks from one of Canteen’s recruiters.

  1. Be prepared.
    1. Although many companies only require resumes to be submitted electronically, you should always bring multiple printed copies of your resume and any supporting documents (cover letter, letters of recommendation, work samples, etc.) to your interview.
    2. Get directions in advance, and know what type of parking is available. This will help ensure you show up on time to the interview, and avoid unnecessary stress caused by getting lost or being unable to find parking.
    3. Be familiar with the company and the position you’re applying for. Prior to your interview, you should thoroughly read through the job description, the company’s website, blog, LinkedIn profile, social media accounts, any recent news, and even information about their industry and top competitors. If you know who will be interviewing you, it’s not a bad idea to research their LinkedIn or social media profiles as well.
    4. Come to the interview with at least a few questions prepared about the company and the position. Remember, a job interview is not just a chance for the interviewer to gauge whether you are a good fit for the job, but for you to judge whether the position is a good fit for you. Use your questions to learn what you really want to know about the company and the position. For example, “How would you describe the company culture?” or “What characteristics have made people the most successful working here?” Avoid asking questions that could be answered with a little research, like questions about products and services, or questions about any sensitive, negative, or personal subjects.
  2. Be professional, but be yourself.
    1. The rule of thumb for interviewing dress code is to business professional, even if the dress code of the job is casual. Putting effort into your appearance, including appropriate dress, shows that you respect the opportunity and really want the job.
    2. Be friendly. Smile as much as possible, make eye contact, and be aware of your posture throughout the interview. Try not to fidget, as it can distract the interviewer from your answers.
    3. Be yourself. If a job was based entirely on your qualifications, there would be no need for an interview. The point of many interviews is to judge whether you’ll be a good fit for the company and the team. At Canteen, our recruiters look for interpersonal skills that we know will help a person be successful at our company, such as energy, enthusiasm, communicative nature, and team orientation. Be professional, but allow your personality to shine through, so that interviewers can get to know you as much as possible in the short time provided.
    4. Don’t misrepresent your skills, qualifications, or personality traits. Getting a job for which you aren’t qualified, or where you ultimately won’t be happy, will not serve you in the long run.
  3. Be thorough.
    1. Try to be as detailed as possible when answering questions. A simple “yes” or “no” is rarely the answer an interviewer is looking for. Use examples and stories to show that you have the skills required of the position or to demonstrate how you’ve solved problems in the past. In an ideal interview, Canteen hopes that an interview candidate will do 80% of the talking.
    2. At the end of the interview, clarify next steps, so you know when to follow-up if you haven’t heard back.
    3. Make sure you know the name and contact information of everyone you met during the interview. Requesting a business card is an easy way to do this.
    4. Always send a follow-up/thank you email to all interviewers. Make sure you include any additional information they may have requested, and ask any additional questions you still have about the position.

In case you’re not to the interview stage of job seeking yet, our blog’s Career Corner is full of additional tips for online job searching, crafting your resume, and more.

Canteen is ranked as a top employer in the U.S., and we currently have open positions for route drivers, customer service managers, and more across the country. Interested in joining our team? Explore job opportunities with Canteen at the Compass USA online job portal, or register with our Search Agent online recruiting tool to stay informed about any open positions as they become available.

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