Site Interview Preparation
Congratulations, your education, skills, background, personality, and achievements have not only attracted the interest of one of our client companies, you have been selected for a site visit. This important step in the process is your short window to show the hiring manager that you not only have the training and experience they are looking for, YOU are THE Right Person!
Successful interviews require careful preparation and that is the purpose of this review, to assist you in presenting yourself and your skills to your best advantage and to help you receive the offer.
Although you have heard many of these recommendations before, consider the information carefully with the understanding that these proven techniques are presented to ensure your success.
Please be prepared to implement these suggestions.
We have covered general preparation and interviewing skills that are applicable to all interviews on the general interview page. The information below is presented to guide you in a site visit. Information specific to appropriate attire and the questions you should be ready to ask or answer are covered in more depth on seperate pages you will find by clicking the links.
Pre Interview Preparation
- Company Website - Make a final review of the company s web site and any recent news about the company.
- Questions - Finalize and review your list of questions, remember some of these questions will be to gain information while others will be asked for effect. The interviewer does not know the extent of your investigation, the time and effort you have spent to learn about them. Ask questions regarding some technical aspect of a process or procedure that will powerfully demonstrate the extent of your knowledge.
- Practice - Keep in mind that first impressions are critical. Each person you meet will be evaluating some aspect of your experience, training, accomplishments, and knowledge. They will also be probing to determine your attitude, stability, work style, motivation, and business sense. So remember, it is not only what you say but how you say it that is important. As each interviewer tries to determine your rightness for the position, be prepared to answer a number of question about the opportunity and how your experience relates to the company s present and future needs. A good method of preparation is to write down points you would like to make and/or relevant answers to questions that will likely be asked. Play with the wording until you are happy with the phrasing and repeat it back to yourself. Rehearsing in this manner will make your presentation smoother without sounding memorized. You WILL be nervous in the interview; this preparation will make key phrases more readily available when you are under pressure.
- First Impressions - make sure your suit is clean, shoes shined, hair trimmed several days before the interview. Plan to have a folder or planner to carry copies of your resume and to hold any materials you are given during the interview.
- Directions - Get directions to the facility (and contact instructions about what to do when you arrive) at least a day early. Make sure you are familiar with the route so you will be on time.
- Dress for Success - Often I hear that business casual is okay, or just be yourself . . . I also know that if you arrived at an important function in blue jean shorts and a torn tee shirt you would not be as well received as you would had your first impression been made in a nice suit with shined shoes. . . My recommendation is and will remain that candidates dress for a site visit in a dark suit with a long sleeve white or light colored shirt/blouse, minimal jewelry, no perfume or cologne. Shoes should have a closed toe, be in good repair, and be well shined. Hair should be neat and orderly. When you first walk in the door we expect you to appear like the fabulous, successful, talented person you are!!!
- Plan to arrive slightly ahead of schedule - Arrive for your interview 5 to 15 minutes early. Arriving late or arriving too early are among the biggest interviewing mistakes. If something unexpected happens that you have no control over, call as soon as you are able and explain the situation to the employer when you arrive.
- Bring your questions with you have them ready in your planner or folder, and also be prepared to take notes during your interview. We all write down important things we want to remember. . . without saying a word you can demonstrate the value you place on the information conveyed by the interviewer.
- 1st Impressions - Keep in mind that first impressions are critical. With everyone you meet make a strong opening: good eye contact; genuine smile; firm handshake; assertive, energetic posture your excitement and desire for this opportunity will come across very clearly in your body language, the way you sit/stand/carry yourself. . . whether you realize it or not!!!
Keep in mind the tips on the general interview page, especially:
- It is VERY IMPORTANT to always remember that the interviewer is the one who asked the question. So you should tailor your answer to what (s)he needs to know, without a lot of extraneous rambling or superfluous explanation. Why waste time and create a negative impression by giving a sermon when a short prayer would do just fine?
- DO NOT under any circumstances ask any questions regarding salary or benefits. On some occasions interviewers have asked about current salary and expectations. Be honest about your current compensation (my base is__, my bonus is __, my next raise is expected__). In reference to you expectations your answer should be I expect to consider your best offer based on my education and experience, but right now tell me about. . ." and change the subject!!! The temptation to discuss salary/benefits too soon in the interview process is one of the biggest interviewing traps. There are many reasons the candidate should not set a number. We will cover this several times in our conversations.
Other Points to remember:
- Maintain a positive attitude at all times. An unexpected event, delay, or unusual circumstance might be an excellent opportunity to show the way you operate under pressure, resolve difficulties, and are able to implement creative, workable solutions.
- Remember you are interviewing at all times, even at dinner, an evening party, or tour.
- We are judged by the quality of the questions we pose, they show you possess the knowledge, interest, and expertise to ask them.
- Keep in mind that although interviewing styles may vary, few interviewers can resist a candidate who is obviously excited by the opportunity presented - so, approach the whole process with a positive, enthusiastic, and confident attitude.
- DO NOT say any thing negative about your current or past employers. Remain focused on the positive reasons for change and the goals you are striving for.
- Business Card - Obtain a business card from each interviewer and/or write down their name and address (either mailing or email). Make sure you have the spelling correct, after the interview is complete send each interviewer a thank you note. Express your appreciation for their effort, reinforce one or two key areas that your skills meet their interest, and convey your excitement about working with them.
- ASK FOR THE JOB!!!.
Although it is unusual for an offer to be extended during the interview process, it has happened and is an event that must be considered. Therefore:
When the Offer is made
- DO NOT EVER decline an offer as it is presented - no matter what your initial reaction might be. As long as the offer is on the table you have options to negotiate. Even a base amount that you may perceive as too low might have other factors not immediately evident that make it a great offer!
- When the offer is made I recommend that you ask for a few days to consider the details and ask for the package in writing.
- Contact AQS to go over any questions/concerns you might have. Our knowledge and understanding of the company can help you in your decision process.
It is said that we make our luck with a combination of preparation, inspiration, and perspiration meeting opportunity. We have confidence in your ability. . . take a deep breath and go knock their socks off!!!