The biggest mistake in interviewing is not being fully prepared. Job seekers should be using every conceivable means to prepare for the interview and learn about their prospective employer. Interviewing is a skill that requires preparation and practice. Preparation will make the difference between receiving an offer and getting rejected.
MS Hospitality has provided you with some of the best tips for resume development, interview preparation and resigning your position with dignity.
- Resume Template (Contemporary)
- Resume Template (Functional)
- Resume Template (Traditional)
- Resume Action Verbs
- Basic Cover Letter
- Thank You Letter
Research shows that only one interview is granted for every 200 resumes received by the average employer. Research also tells us that your resume will be quickly scanned, rather than read. Ten to 20 seconds is all the time you have to persuade a prospective employer to read further. What this means is that the decision to interview a candidate is usually based on an overall first impression of the resume, a quick screening that so impresses the reader and convinces them of the candidate’s qualifications that an interview results. As a result, the top half of the first page of your resume will either make you or break you.
The resume is a tool with one specific purpose: To win an interview. (If it does what the fantasy resume did, it works.) If it doesn’t, it isn’t an effective resume. A resume is an advertisement, nothing more, nothing less.
A great resume doesn’t just tell a prospective employer what you have done but makes the same assertion that all good ads do: If you buy this product, you will get these specific, direct benefits. It convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position.
It is a mistake to think of your resume as a history of your past, as a personal statement or as some sort of self-expression. Sure, most of the content of any resume is focused on your job history but should be written with the intention to create interest, to persuade the employer to call you. If you write with that goal, your final product will be very different than if you write to inform or catalog your job history.
Preparing for the Interview
The objective of an employment interview should be to get a job offer. Going in with the goal of getting the offer is important. It puts you in the right frame of mind. With this objective, you will be dealing from a position of strength by positioning yourself for the right of first refusal.
To get the job offer it is important to look at the interview from the employer’s point of view. The employer is evaluating how you can support their goals. What they need from you is an understanding of how you have performed in the past so they can predict your success in the future.
Going into any meeting prepared is important, the interview is no different. Below are suggestions to help you prepare for the interview.
- Research the firm you are meeting with
- Get a job description and learn as much as possible about the role
- You should know something of the duties and responsibilities of the position
- What is the ideal backgrounding the employer is looking for?
- Who are you meeting with? What are their roles?
- Once you understand the firm and the needs, develop a list of your strengths
- Highlight, through story, areas that put your background in parallel with the need
- Prepare to explain your duties and responsibilities as well as their impact on the firm
- Share specific achievements you have earned
The interview should be professional, but not stuffy. Be yourself, ask questions, and share your background.
- Answer questions by starting with a problem you faced
- Share your solution to the problem
- Emphasize the results
- Ask questions. Have them written down before you go. Have about 10 ready.
- What is your vision for the current operation?
- If I do my job well, what are my chances for promotion?
- How do you think your business philosophy differs from your competitors?
- What is the next step in the interviewing process, and when can I expect to hear back from you?
- How can I help you if I were in the position?
Do not be afraid to relate what others have said about your work. Tell a story, paint a picture.
What to Wear
Dress in a conservative and businesslike manner. You should dress as if you were meeting with the CEO of an important client firm, considering the standards of dress in your area for formal business meetings and the culture of the firm with which you are interviewing. What is appropriate in Portland may not be appropriate in Manhattan or Indianapolis. When in doubt, a conservative suit or dress is the way to go. Avoiding loud colors.
The Salary Question
The salary question deserves special mention. If the firm asks what your desired salary is, the best answer is always something like this:
“You know what I am earning now and I am open to a reasonable offer that improves upon my current package. My most important concern is the position, its responsibilities, and my future potential with your company.”
After the Interview
Always send a follow-up thank you letter. This carries a great deal of weight with the employer. It is such a small thing yet it is something few people take the time to do. It can be the deciding factor in getting an offer if you are competing with equally qualified candidates. It is very important, however, that the grammar, spelling, and punctuation be perfect. If this is not your strong area, have someone proofread your letter.
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