As part of Better Jobs month, News10 is helping viewer Rob Meza get ready for a big interview on Friday with the California State Lottery. In the process, News10 is bringing you real advice from the experts on how to apply for jobs, improve your interviewing skills and become happier at work.
After a mock interview, career coach Andrea Weiss reviewed video of the practice run with Meza. She has four tips that will help make the interviewer feel more excited to hire you:
1) Have questions to ask the interviewer
"That's one thing that I hear from employers that really bothers them, when they come to the end and it's like, 'uh no questions,'" Weiss said. "They want to know you're interested in the job and interested in the organization. Some of those questions might be from the research you've done or what you found on their website, like, 'I read on your website you're developing this product, would this position be involved in that.' It shows you've done your homework."
Weiss said to ask questions that show you understand the business model, the competitive landscape in terms of other companies and the overall industry. You can also ask general questions like: what is it like to work at the business, what is the office culture like, or what do people enjoy most about working for the company. Those questions show that you're interested in being a team player who enjoys coming to work.
Do NOT ask about compensation, benefits or vacation time in a first interview. You should ask about those things after the job offer is made.
2) Be engaging, show your personality
"So, definitely be prepared, and practice answers to potential questions. But, don't forget that this is just a conversation," Weiss said. "If there's opportunity for some humor, or to show that you're really excited about something the interviewer says, don't feel like you have to keep a straight face. Remember: Employers want to hire people they want to work with, so you want to be as engaging as possible throughout the interview, even if you're nervous."
Also, don't forget to maintain eye contact with the interviewer, especially when answering a question.
3) Be enthusiastic
"You know, it's okay to let that enthusiasm out -- in that it's okay to say, 'Oh, I'm so glad you asked me that question. Because, I love that's one of the things I really enjoy about being a manager is motivating teams.' And then, a little bit of your personality comes out, so that you're not just a guy in a suit."
4) Dressing the right way for the interview
"Always better to err on the side of being more conservatively dressed to being more casual, and even if you're interviewing somewhere where the dress code is casual -- high tech firms are casual," Weiss said. "But, you have to give the interview the respect it deserves and dress professionally, so it never hurts for a guy to put on a tie or a jacket, and you want to make sure you're comfortable and confident."