Here are some basic tips for surviving the job interview process.
Before the Interview
Learn as much a you can about the company, salary, and benefits. Friends, neighbors, local chambers of commerce, etc. are also helpful. Learn everything you can about the job and how your previous experience and training qualify you for the job.
Write down the things you need to complete applications:
- Your background and experience (should contain names and contact information of former employers, schools, training, etc.)
- A resume or summary of work experience
- Samples of your work (if practical). Also include any work-related or community service awards you have received
- Identification, including Social Security card, driver’s license, union cards, military records, etc.
- Dress for the interview and the job. Don’t overdress or look too informal.
- Have pen, notepad, extra copy of your resume (business cards if you normally use them) available where you can find them quickly without fumbling through pockets or purse.
- Always go to the interview alone. Arrange for baby sitters, transportation, etc. ahead of time so that you can be on time and relaxed in the interview.
- Find common ground with the interviewer. Pictures, books, plants, etc. in his/her office can become the basis of conversation leading into the interview, making both of you more comfortable.
- Express your interest in the job and the company using information you gathered to prepare for the interview.
- Let the interviewer direct the conversation.
- Answer questions in a clear and positive manner. Show how your experience and training will make you productive in the shortest time with minimal supervision.
- Speak positively of former employers and co–workers no matter why you left, even if you were fired from your last job.
- Let the employer lead into conversations about benefits. Your focus on these items can be a "turn off." But don’t be afraid to ask questions about things that you really need to know.
- When discussing salary, be flexible. Avoid naming a specific salary. If you’re too high, you risk not getting the job. If you’re too low, you undersell yourself. Answer questions on salary requirements with responses such as, "I’m interested in the job as a career opportunity, so I’m negotiable on the starting salary." Negotiate, but don’t sell yourself short.
Closing the Interview
Balfour Beatty Construction is an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity in the workplace.
- If the employer does not offer you a job or say when you will hear about it, ask when you may call to find out about the decision.
- If the employer asks you to call or return for another interview, make a written note of the time, date, and place.
- Thank the employer for the interview and reaffirm your interest and qualifications for the job.