The most important segment of the employment search, for both the prospective employer and for you, is the interview.
During the interview session, the total you is scrutinized by the prospective employer. The interviewer is evaluating the physical and psychological you, along with your education, experiential and work background.
The first interview is usually the most decisive part of your job search. While all the document preparation and networking and research and mailings are essential segments of the total job search, the most effective interview is usually the determining factor in who secures the second (and even more important) interview and, eventually, the coveted position.
This can be a very stressful experience for the novice, as well as the seasoned, interviewee. Obviously, preparation is absolutely necessary.
It is extremely important that you RELAX during the interview process. Remember that the interview is a give-and-take processing of information between an employer and an applicant.
You should plan on evaluating, as well as on being evaluated, during this process. Pay close attention to what the interviewer says about his company. File this information with all information previously obtained through preparatory employer research at the beginning of the job search and, more recently, immediately upon scheduling the interview. You may need this information when you begin asking your questions - yes, you are expected to ask your own questions during this meeting!
It is up to you to make the interview a personal success through sound preparation. Success necessitates that you do your homework. Remember, practice makes perfect!
REMEMBER THANK-YOU LETTERS
It is extremely important to take a few minutes immediately following the interview to jot down pertinent information you need to remember. Points from this interview may be included in the thank-you letter you will write and send to the interviewer. Be sure to ask for the interviewer's card!
The Thank-You Letter is a MUST! This little note can mean the difference between securing a job or remaining unemployed. It must be sent within 48 hours (but preferably within 24 hours) of interview.
If you are offered a position you want to accept, a Letter of Acceptance must be send ASAP (and ideally within 48 hours of receiving the offer) restating the terms of job requirements, length of time if pertinent, and money.
If you are offered a position you do NOT want, a Letter of Rejection must be sent within 48 hours of receiving offer as an act of courtesy for the company’s consideration of your talent.
REMEMBER: It is important that YOU also ask questions during the interview to show that you have researched the employer and are interested in the company. ]