DALLAS (NEXSTAR) — Ask anyone involved in the hiring process and they’ll tell you they have a pretty good feel for a job candidate a few minutes into an interview. I’ve interviewed and hired people for more than a decade and can tell you the interview is just as important (if not more than) as the resume.
With a good resume, you’ll land an interview. With a good interview, you’ll land the job.
Here are a few pieces of advice I’ll pass along from some of the better interviews I’ve conducted:
Tell them about their company
Want to fall flat in a job interview? Have no real knowledge of the company you’re trying to work for.
You need to spend some time researching the company before you sit down with a hiring manager. Is there something the company stands for that you exemplify? Has the work of the company impacted a family member or loved one? When you sit down for that interview, be in a position to tell the employer something you like about their company and how you might be able to contribute to the effort.
Dress to impress
I can’t remember an interview where I felt a candidate was overdressed, but I can certainly remember the times job seekers chose to go casual.
Even in an era of virtual interviews, my suggestion would be to dress to impress. In my opinion, you stand to gain more than you’d lose.
Explain how a past experience will help you in this job
Think through your past experiences and jobs and explain how those skills can help you in this new role. A good example: A waiter or waitress can often make a good salesperson. In their role in a restaurant, they have to “sell” their service to get a good tip.
Did you play sports in high school or college? Explain how your competitive nature or ability to work with a team will help in the workplace.
You should do enough research on the company to have questions about how it operates.
Go into the interview with a couple questions and listen throughout to formulate any additional items to bring up. I wouldn’t ask more than 3-4 but presenting questions shows you’re thorough and are taking the process seriously.
Have the right references
One question I used to love asking applicants: What would your references say about you? For the most part, the references confirm what the applicants says, but I’ve had a handful of cases where reference say they exact opposite.
References are a key part of the application process. You need to select references who know you and your work. Pick references based on their ability to speak to your strengths instead of simply selecting people based on their job titles.