In-Person Interviews Are Back
I’ve seen an influx of in-person interviews lately and it seems to be trending more toward the way it was pre-pandemic. With that being said, I wanted to touch on some key things to keep in mind when attending an in-person interview compared to virtual interviews/meetings we’ve grown accustomed to the past couple of years. An in-person job interview can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. It's your chance to make a lasting impression on potential employers and showcase your skills beyond your resume. Below are some topics I feel are important to brush up on.
1. Research the Company: This isn’t any new advice, but when attending in person you will want to find out where the company is located, what the parking situation will be, and where to go when you get there. Also remember to thoroughly research the company's mission, values, products/services, recent news, and even its culture. Showing your knowledge about the company demonstrates your genuine interest and commitment.
2. Dress Appropriately: Dressing professionally and appropriately for the company culture is crucial. When in doubt, it's better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Your attire reflects your respect for the interview process.
3. Practice Non-Verbal Communication: Your body language speaks volumes. I believe there is research out there saying over 70%+ of communication is done non-verbally. Be sure to maintain eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and sit up straight. A warm smile and good posture convey confidence and eagerness.
4. Prepare Your “Elevator Pitch”: Craft a concise yet impactful introduction that summarizes your professional background, skills, and what you bring to the table. This is often the first thing you'll be asked, so make it memorable.
5. Highlight Your Achievements: Be ready to discuss specific examples of your accomplishments that directly relate to the job requirements. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answers.
6. Ask Good Questions: Prepare a list of insightful questions about the company, team dynamics, and the role itself. Asking questions not only shows your enthusiasm but also helps you gauge if the company is the right fit for you.
7. Showcase Soft Skills: While technical skills are important, employers also value soft skills like teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and adaptability. Provide examples of how you've demonstrated these skills in previous roles.
8. Be Authentic: Be yourself. Authenticity comes across as genuine and relatable. Trying to be someone you're not can be easily spotted and might not lead to a good cultural fit in the long run.
9. Handle Challenges Gracefully: Interviews often include curveball questions or hypothetical scenarios. Stay composed and demonstrate your ability to think on your feet. Even if you don't have a perfect answer, show your thought process.
10. Follow Up After the Interview: Send a personalized thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview. Express gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position. This small gesture reinforces your professionalism. Include specific topics talked about and what you may have learned from the conversation.
In conclusion, performing well in an in-person job interview requires a combination of preparation, confidence, and authenticity. By researching the company, practicing your communication skills, and showcasing your achievements, you can leave a lasting impression on your potential employer. Remember, an interview is not just about showcasing your skills; it's also a chance for you to evaluate if the company aligns with your career goals and values. So, approach the interview as a two-way conversation and make the most of the opportunity.
Blog written by Professional Project Partners, Inc. Recruiting Manager Joe Green.