May brings many great things – blooming flowers, sunshine and let’s not forget, interview season! As the cold weather is coming to an end, our interview season is jumpstarting with candidates seeking internships and full-time positions as financial services media relations or integrated marketing communications professionals.
Like any new experience, interviewing can be a bit frightening and overwhelming, especially when you want to make a great impression (which should be every time). As interviewing happens to be one of my favorite responsibilities, I want to take the opportunity to share a few of my tips and tricks on how to impress HR managers like myself and survive (and hopefully succeed during) this interview season.
- Don’t cancel at the last minute – Emergencies happen, so if you must cancel, be sure to call your contact and let them know you need to reschedule. Calling comes across more personal than an email. You want to show the HR manager you are still interested regardless of what emergency has arrived.
- Don’t arrive late – Arrive at least 5 to 10 minutes early. Arriving early shows that you are prompt and respect the time of those conducting your interview.
- Don’t mislead – It’s important to be honest during an interview. Most industries are tight-knit so it’s important to be upfront about any holes in your resume or changes in job status. Most HR managers will find out the truth eventually and it can ruin your reputation.
- Do bring your resume – Show that you are prepared. Most HR managers will print a few copies of your resume but bringing copies shows you are prepared.
- Do dress professionally – Impressions are usually made in the first seven seconds of meeting someone, so put your best foot first! It’s always best to be on the more professional side than to be underdressed for an interview.
- Do your research – Be knowledgeable about the company and the person or people you will be meeting. It will impress your interviewers and it’s a great way to prepare questions tailored to those you will be meeting.
- Do have questions – Questions show a desire to learn more about a company and the position. Preparing a few questions in advance helps to prepare you for the interview and shows you’ve done your research.
- Do prepare examples – Interviews are an opportunity to share your experience beyond your resume. Come prepared to share some experiences you’ve had that can be transferred to the position you are interviewing for.
- Do send thank you notes – To me, thank you notes are one of the most important parts of the interview. It is an opportunity to show additional interest in a position and follow-up with any helpful articles or samples of work you’d like the HR manager to review. Thank you notes help you stick out in a crowd, and not sending one will almost always hurt your chances at getting called back.
As you begin scheduling interviews remember, do your research, be prepared and put your best foot forward. And don’t forget, whether you land the position or not, each interview is a learning opportunity to improve for the next go-around!
Cogito is always looking for exciting new talent. If you are interested in a role with Cognito, please contact me directly at email@example.com. Good luck!