As Prodigy Sports celebrates our 10th Anniversary, each month leading up to our celebration, we will be highlighting our “Top 10’s” of Prodigy Sports’ first 10 years.
In July, we are recognizing our Top 10 Interview Tips. As recruiters, these following tips are elements we experience every day while interviewing candidates. While there are many other tips and tricks to a great interview, these are the top 10 our recruiters look for and to keep in mind.
- Be on time! “On time is late, 5 minutes early is on time, and being late is unacceptable.”
If you are in fact running late, let the company and/or your recruiter contact know as soon as possible. Your punctuality says a lot about you and can ruin an interview from the start before even speaking.
- Do your research on the company and the interviewer(s) beforehand if you know who you will be meeting with (ask for an agenda if possible).
Check pronunciation on their name. Understand the company and their values, mission, overall direction, and relevant news. Most of the information you need to know is listed right on the company’s website or LinkedIn page if applicable. Show that you have done your homework by weaving that into your answers or questions.
- Practice interviewing at home. Prepare for the simple questions you know will be asked of you.
There are common interview questions that you can easily formulate answers for ahead of time. Aside from explaining your background, be prepared for questions like: What are your key skills? Tell me about your greatest accomplishment? What do you know about our company/this role? What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome? What have you learned from a mistake?
- Dress the part. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Men, suit and tie are a must and be clean shaven (trim your beard as necessary). Women, dress formally and be cautious of too much, potentially distracting, jewelry.
- Leave your cell phone and other electronic devices in your bag, or better yet, in your car.
Imagine being in the midst of an interview with a CEO of a major company and a text comes through, hearing the chirp. If it is necessary to bring it in your bag, play it safe and turn it off rather than taking your chances on silent/vibrating mode.
- Make direct eye contact.
Show that you are actively and genuinely listening to what your potential employer has to say. Be engaged in the conversation, however, leave the (too) personal stories at home. Show your human side, to the extent you feel comfortable, but your weekend stories should not be addressed.
- If you are doing a video or Skype interview, test the camera before your interview.
Technology has a funny way of playing with us when we need it the most. Skype and other platforms offer test calls. Utilize those to test the camera quality and the sound that the microphone and speakers work property. Position yourself in a well-lit area with a blank (or minimally decorated) wall behind you. Even though you are not in person, act as if you are in your dress, mannerisms, and speech. And, dress as if you’re meeting in person – (See No. 4 above.)
- Sell yourself. If you are applying for a sales role, demonstrate your ability to close a deal.
Depending on the position you are interviewing for, think about what skills are important to look for and to have as a candidate for this role. For sales, have a comfort level with high-dollar amounts and explain your deep rolodex. For more marketing/digital roles, promote your creativity and establish your own brand. If you are a problem solver, show your ability to handle difficult situations efficiently. Tell your story, use detail and examples.
- Think positive. When preparing for an interview, it is common to feel nervous.
Don’t let that overwhelm you. Everyone has achieved their level of success through an interview and they have been through it all. Be confident in your abilities, think about the path that got you to where you are and reflect that in your interview. Take a deep breath, relax.
- Always follow up with a Thank You after an interview.
A simple thank you email or handwritten note (a lost art) is a must. Don’t overdo it with following up if the interviewer gives you a timeline on their process. Most likely, a company will be interviewing additional candidates as well so try to be patient.
Stay tuned next month for more of our Prodigy Sports Anniversary Countdown!
Contact Megan Meisse at firstname.lastname@example.org.