10 Tips for Mastering An Interview

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Picture this: you've been working for the same company for the past several years, you haven't updated our resume at all, you haven't documented any achievements on projects you have worked on, you're nervous about your upcoming interviews... and you're about to the thrown back out into the the world of landing that job again and you're not sure what to expect...

The transitional period in life is something that everyone goes through, whether or not you are changing careers completely or just changing companies you want to work for but in a similar role. The best way to tackle this head on is preparing yourself ahead of that first phone call you may receive for a potential interview. Here are some of our favourite tips that will help you land that job of your dreams.

1. Research the Company
If you are serious about the position and company you are applying for, you must research the company. Nothing looks more unprepared and uninterested than a prospective employee who doesn't know the background facts about the company they are being interviewed for. Review the company's services/products, their mission statement, the culture and keep a running list of questions that you may have for the interviewers. 

2. Update your Resume
Take a look at your resume in detail, certain keywords make a difference in the job you are applying for. Have a friend look over your resume for you to double check everything is in order. Print at least 2-3 copies of your resume on quality paper and place it in folder, it will make your resume feel important. 

3. Dress the Part
During your research stage you would have noticed what the culture is, dress appropriately and no matter how "casual" the company is always strive to dress professionally...! You should always dress for the position you aspire to have one day - not just for the position you are being interviewed for. 

4. Arrive on Time
Ladies.... leave yourself enough time to get to the location without working up a sweat! If you take public transportation, map out your route ahead of time and if you have to walk outside bring an umbrella and an extra pair of shoes! If you drive, check traffic reports, locate a parking nearby if the company doesn't have parking and always arrive 10-15 mins before the start to the interview. Stop by the bathroom before entering the business so you can take a deep breath and ensure everything is ready to go. 

5. The Handshake
A firm handshake shows that you are confident and self-assured leaving a lasting first impression. 

6. Make Eye Contact
Enter the room with solid eye contact and a big smile - companies always look for someone who can solidly keep eye contact. Be sure to be respectful, polite, and energetic to everyone you meet on the way to the interview, during the interview and on your way out rom the interview. You want to make a good first impression all around!

7. Prepare your Questions and Answers
There are always similar questions that companies will ask no matter what, so be prepared for those questions that you should expect.
"Tell me about yourself"
"How has your experience prepared you for this job"
"What are your weaknesses/strengths"
"Why do you want this job and what stands out for you about our company"
Similarly, at the end of the interview you want to be able to ask questions back to the interviewers. This shows you have done your homework and that you are genuinely interested in the position and company. 
"Why did this position open up?"
"Is there any opportunities for growth with this position?"
"What is your company culture like from your perspective"

8. Maintain Good Posture
Definitely do not slouch or slump during your interview, do your best to sit up right without looking too uncomfortable. Do not cross your arms, set your arms in front of you where your resume is. Your posture will reflect your enthusiasm for the position.

9. Ask about the Next Step
Near the end of your interview, ask about the next steps and what you should expect when it comes to communication and timeline. This will give you an indication for when and how you should follow-up. 

10. Write a Thank-You Note
The next step after the interview should be followed-up with a simple Thank-You note, if you can try to write a hand-written note. This will show the company that you are polite and professional and will keep you on their radar. 

Do you have any etiquette tips that you would like to share for making a good first impression? Comment below!

Help your fellow CY & Co. members out and leave your personal tips and tricks <3 

CY & Co. Team XO

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