Basketball season is now in full swing with my daughter’s team playing in their first tournament of the season this last weekend. While they performed well, the games still could have gone either way. A bad pass here, missed lay-up there. So in practice last night their coach no doubt focused with them on the details. Back to the basics in some respects.
The competition is tougher now than ever. So when you secure an opportunity to interview for a position focus on the details. It’s these details that can make the difference and set you apart from the others.
Research. Get to know the organization and their product portfolio. Being knowledgeable shows the company you are interested.
Prepare questions. Being ready with questions also lets the company know you are interested.
Dress the part. Leave nothing to chance. Wear nice interview attire. Make sure your shoes are clean. Get a fresh haircut.
Non-verbal communication cues. Good eye contact. Firm hand shake. Good posture while seated. If appropriate lean slightly forward at times. Stay engaged in the conversation.
Keep to the point. Don’t go off on a tangent. Stay on task. Answer questions clearly & concisely. However if the question is open ended be sure to provide a thorough answer.
Wrapping up. At the end of the interview ask them what you can expect next. Even if it is a canned response on their end, you are always best to ask.
Thank yous. Yes, still very appropriate. Electronic or hard copy are both acceptable.
So just as the competition in basketball gets tougher and tougher, and the need to focus on the details becomes ever increasingly important, so it does in the job market. Competition is tougher than ever. Get the edge. Do your homework. Be prepared. Don’t get edged out by your competition because you failed to prepare properly.