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Resolute has been in the IT recruiting business since 1998 and we’ve seen it all from both candidates and clients alike. We compiled the following tips, based on actual interview events, which may seem like common-sense, but are worth reading to ensure a successful interview.

REMEMBER: YOU ARE BEING INTERVIEWED AS SOON AS YOU WALK IN THE DOOR –  Candidates would never think of the receptionist as being an interviewer, but it’s true. It is fairly common that the receptionist will report back to the hiring manager how candidates behaved in the waiting area. Don’t be remembered as the one who ate all the candy out of the candy dish or spoke disrespectfully to the receptionist.

PHONES: OFF! – Consider yourself out of the running if your phone goes off during the interview. Be smart and turn your phone off during your interview.

PERSONAL HYGIENE – Once you arrive for your interview, please refrain from putting on makeup, clipping nails, brushing hair, brushing teeth, chewing gum or eating anything. Never wear too much cologne or perfume.

DON’T BE TOO EARLY – While you should always arrive at your interview a few minutes early, try not get there more than 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Arriving too early will lead to anxiety on the candidate’s part because they have to sit and wait for an extended period of time, and it will lead to frustration on the hiring manager’s part because they will feel rushed with the project that they are trying to accomplish prior to the interview. If you find yourself getting to the building earlier than you thought, wait in your car or take a walk around the block until it’s closer to your interview time.

KNOW WHOM YOU’RE MEETING WITH – Know the name of the interviewer so that you can ask for that person at the receptionist’s desk

ANSWERS – Many interviews begin with the same questions: Tell me about yourself? What do you hope to do? What are your goals? What is your greatest strength/weakness? Where do you see yourself in 5 years. Put some time and effort into thinking about these questions and prepare your answers in advance.

MAKE PROPER EYE CONTACT – One of the most obvious mistakes interviewees make is with eye contact, and it costs a lot of people a lot of jobs. Eye contact is simple – Any given eye contact should last about five seconds at a time. And if there’s one interviewer, make eye contact with him or her about 40 to 60 percent of the time. More than 60 percent is intimidating. Less than 40 percent comes off as shifty and perhaps insincere, even dishonest.

DON’T LOOK AT YOUR WATCH – Block at least two hours of time for the interview. Keeping your schedule relatively clear on the day of the interview, to avoid feeling the need to rush. Don’t create distractions to your interview

KNOW YOUR RESUME!  – You should be prepared to discuss all your prior positions, in detail. Be able to discuss previous projects including your responsibilities, skills utilized, what challenges you had to tackle and successes. Be able to discuss why you left that role and what you are looking for in your next project or job. Never give yes or no answers. If you have not used a certain skill, state “no”. If your answer is “yes”, then answer, “Yes. At ABC company, I was responsible for developing web forms using ASP.Net, C# and HTML. “ Be specific and give good examples.

ANSWER QUESTIONS IN THREE SENTENCES OR LESS – Be clear and precise…. after answering questions, do a satisfaction check whenever possible. For example: Did I answer your question? If the client wants more specifics, they will ask. Do not feel you have to fill every silence. Sometimes the interviewer is taking notes or needs to check a list of questions.

DO NOT MAKE NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT PREVIOUS EMPLOYERS, OR PREVIOUS CONTRACTS. – Clients are not interested in having people who will be negative about their team. If you voice negative comments about previous companies, they may assume you are the problem instead of previous managers or co-workers.

END STRONG – Be prepared for the final question, “Do you have any questions for me?” You could ask a few questions like, “What do you like best about this company?” or “What is the next step in the interview process. Tell the interviewer you are interested! Don’t forget to tell the interviewer you want the job. If you truly feel the position is a fit, let them know and tell them you would like to get to the next round of interviews, and be prepared to tell them why.

GET BUSINESS CARDS FROM YOUR INTERVIEWERS –AND USE THEM – Ask for the business cards of all of the interviewers that you have met and make sure you take a second or two to read their card. This will not only be helpful in remembering each person you met with but will make it easier to send proper thank-you notes and follow up e-mails, which should always be done within 24 hours of leaving the interview.

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