Eight Tips to Help You Excel in a Job Interview

Peter Bell of Peter Bell & Associates, LLC, one of New York’s top executive search firms, has some advice on how to impress in a job interview:

* Arrive early: If you get to the interview site a few minutes early and take a look at the office environment, Bell says you may be able to “gain some insight into the workings of the firm,” or at least determine whether the company is a good fit for you.

* Turn your phone off before the interview: Bell says you don’t want anything “ringing, buzzing or vibrating” during the interview.

* Have an up-to-date portfolio: Bell recommends some writing samples that you are proud of. He says to include a few examples of “your success with the media” along with the writing samples. The recruiter says it doesn’t have to be a massive project; you just need to have something that shows your talents.

* Talk, but not too much: Bell advises the job seeker to maintain eye contact and act in a professional manner throughout the interview, and to listen carefully. When you’re asked a question, respond thoroughly, but do not ramble. And don’t talk too much.

* Dress for success: “First impressions do count,” says Bell. “We know that this might be difficult under certain circumstances,” he notes, but neatness is important. So leave the jeans and t-shirts at home. Bell recommends a business suit or at least a jacket with dress pants or a dress skirt.

* Do your research: Find out as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing with. Bell recommends checking out their website to “understand what it is they do, or who their clients are.”

* Enthusiasm matters: Bell says there is no substitute for enthusiasm. He advises to demonstrate this during the “do you have any questions” stage of the interview. You should have some questions ready – not about perks or raises, but about the firm, and your possible place in it.
* Remember the power of a thank you note: Bell advises that before a job interview, you should buy a box of ‘thank you’ notes and some stamps. Put the few of them in your attaché bag, and have them ready to be written after the interview, with a copy of your resume included with the thank you note.

Peter Bell & Associates is one of New York’s top executive search firms. The Think Human offers life, career, and executive coaching services.