Interview Preparation

7 Tips that Will Help You Get Prepared:

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. Do your homework, knowledge is power in any scenario! Practicing with a coach and asking for feedback can help strengthen your interview skills before you even have an interview planned, this can get you ready for questions you did not expect to hear during the interview.

2. Treat Everyone You Meet with Respect. Do some research on your interviewer if possible. Knowing their name beforehand will add to your credibility. Answering with honesty is also something that is key. This doesn’t mean you need to disclose information about your recovery if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, it just means don’t just answer questions to make yourself sound better. 

3. Practice Polite, Confident Body Language. Employers know that any candidate they’re speaking with is nervous, just remember to smile and be yourself!

4. Ace the Introductions. Come up with three key details about yourself that you want the employer to know before you leave, consider preparing a short elevator pitch about yourself. If the points can’t be made in a minute or less, there is too much information.

5. Gaps in Employment. You do not have to go into details that you are uncomfortable speaking about. The law prohibits employers from discriminating against people who have been through recovery and are no longer using (Americans with Disabilities Act).  Stay focused on the strengths you have developed from this experience. Refresh yourself on your rights that protect you in an interview. You are not required to share this information, but if they ask, be honest. You can say you had some health concerns to take care of and you are now ready to begin working again. Find the right fit for you, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in this new environment. Avoid areas with triggers, if you feel uncomfortable, talk to a manager to discuss possible options.

6. Confidence is Key. Clean and fresh apparel and good firm handshake show confidence. Employers will appreciate the thought that goes into dressing professionally where you’re interviewing for an entry-level or corporate position.

7. Follow-up With a Thank-you Note. Thank them for their time and make sure to re-establish your interest in hearing back from them.

Good Interview Etiquette:

Phone Etiquette

     Answering the phone with a pleasant tone sets the whole mood for setting the interview up, someone would rather interview a candidate that is excited about the interview

     Your voicemail should be set up, professional, and clear so that the recruiter may leave you a message if you do not answer the phone and stating your name in your voicemail can assure they called the right number

Business Etiquette 

     Understanding how to present yourself in an interview is very important.  You only get one chance to make a first impression.  Consider appropriate dress, ensure you and your clothes are clean, and that you are groomed properly (which may mean you need a haircut or shave but you do not need to make yourself look less like yourself - don't shave your beard if you wear one every day, just make sure it is trimmed neatly). 

     Note that dress for interviews will vary by position and you should do some research for the expectations of your interview.  If you know someone who works at the organization or works in the industry ask them their opinion.  Use your best guess if you cannot speak to someone with experience in that area.  It is always better to dress up and be more formal if you don't know.  Most manufacturing positions will be fine with jeans and a nice polo-style shirt but a professional position needs a suit.  T-shirts, hoodies, and old jeans are typically not what you want to wear to an interview.  

Mock Interviews 

     Going through the process with the candidates to help them understand how to address their backgrounds in an interview for example: gaps in employment, how to determine what skills they have and how they can relate to the job description.

Interview Prep

     Candidates have to do research on the companies for which they apply, to be able to talk intelligently about what the company does, mission, values, etc. Having a correct resume with accurate dates and being familiar with that resume and being able to talk to it.

Understanding Technology 

     Knowing how to search for jobs on job boards and then apply to jobs on the internet, more importantly, if an offer is given, being able to obtain that offer letter via email, print, read and sign and return via email.  Background checks are all done electronically, understanding how to enter the information on a website.

1. Part of this page is compiled from materials from the Americans with Disabilities Act webpage. Specific source material can be located at https://www.ada.gov/

 
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