One of the most critical steps in any job search process is securing an interview with the hiring manager. Whether it’s your first ever job interview, you’re making plans to switch careers, or just trying to brush up on your interviewing skills for a dream job later down the road, preparing for the interview is crucial, regardless of where you are in your career. Take a look at this list of interview basics to help increase your chance of landing the job. Research the company You may have applied for many positions simply based on the job description. Conduct research on the company you’d like to work for to learn more about its values and mission, as well as the workplace culture and how your skills may help the company. Take some time to look at the LinkedIn profiles of some of the company’s executive leadership and people you may work with within your department. It’s possible that your supervisor or another team member has a similar background to yours, which could make for an interesting chat during the interview. Showcase your portfolio “Show, don’t tell” is a phrase you’ve probably heard before. In the interview process, this is crucial. A potential hiring manager wants to hear about your previous work experiences, but they also want to see your work to determine whether you’re a good match for the company. Make the most of this opportunity to showcase some of your best work. Bring copies of your presentations, analytic data or performance reviews to show off if you’re doing an in-person interview. Have your tabs open if you’re doing a virtual interview so you can share your screen with your interviewer. Prepare your own interview questions Near the end of the interview, most interviewers give you the option to ask questions. Take advantage of this time. To set yourself apart from the competition, ask open-ended questions such as “What do you appreciate about your job?,” “What do you dislike about your job?” and “What challenges are you trying to solve by hiring me?” to learn more about the position you applied for. Also, don’t forget to ask for the next steps in the interview process. Follow up after the interview You’ll need to create follow-up communication after you’ve finished your interview. For most interview follow-ups, email is the best option. Ask your recruiter, if you have one, to send you the emails of the people who interviewed you if you can’t find them. Reiterate something you learned about the company during the interview to add a personal touch. Remembering specifics from the conversation demonstrates your interest in the position and desire to build a relationship with the team as if you’ve already been hired. This article first appeared in the June 23, 2022 edition of Job Journey. Visit blog/ to sign up for this monthly newsletter by Express Employment Professionals, which provides tips and advice for every step of your working life.

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