Why you should treat an interview like a first date… an employer’s perspective.

Submitted by Chanda Jordan, Talent Acquisition Specialist with Enterprise Holdings

You feel the nervous excitement, put in hours of preparation, and feel optimistic that this could be “the one.”  Congratulations, you have an interview.  Two of the scariest things in life are dating and interviewing.  Both can lead to lifelong partnerships, or the longest hour of your life.  Following some dating basics can help you have a successful interview.  Based on my experience interviewing candidates on a daily basis, I have a few tips to ensure you have the best interview that you can.

1.     Google Me

Utilize my website and career focused websites like Glassdoor. Look at my company Facebook page and request a connection on LinkedIn.  Talk to the people you know that work for my company or visit one of my local offices.  Preparation is key, especially when you have an inside connection with the company.  When your friend says, “I have someone that I would like you to meet,” it may be the major break you have been seeking in your career, be prepared.

2.     Dress to impress

Take the time to look your best; you only make one first impression.  Details matter, look in the mirror before you walk into the interview.  If you are unsure of the appropriate attire always dress business professional.

3.     No One Wants Desperate

I am offering a career, not just a paycheck.  Explain why I should hire you and why you want to work for my company.  We are going to invest a lot into you including time, money, training, and access to my customers; I need to know you are looking for long-term and truly want this opportunity.

4.     Don’t Knock Your Ex

There are a lot of reasons previous positions may not have worked out. Be prepared to explain why you are no longer there without speaking negatively about previous employers.  As with all answers, turn a negative into a positive and explain what you learned from the experience.

5.     Ask About Me

Employers evaluate the questions you ask to gauge your level of interest in the position.  This could potentially be your new career, ask about the issues that matter to you like career path, culture, and expectations; not just medical benefits and paid leave.  Remember, it is about determining if this is the right fit for you and the employer. If you don’t ask, you won’t know.

6.     Two Day rule

After your interview, follow-up with a professional thank you note or email.  Be authentic by including something specific from our interview.  I will not think you are too pushy if you send the email/note the same day.  However, limit your follow-up to one call or email per week.  Ask for a business card during the interview to ensure you have the correct contact information.

7.     Don’t Give Up

An interviewer’s job is to find the right candidate, but also make sure the career is what the candidate is looking for.  If you were prepared, honest, and enthusiastic, it could just be that we are not soul mates. I don’t want to tie you down with my career if it is not truly what you are looking for.  Good luck.

Blog Contributor Notes: Chanda recently co-presented a webinar with the Office of Career Services targeted toward Rollins Alumni titled, “ACE Your Interview.”  Visit the Alumni Webinar Programs page to view the recorded webinar.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is an internationally recognized brand with more than 6,000 neighborhood and airport locations in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland and Germany.  Students and alumni who are interested in applying for Enterprise’s Management Trainee or Management Trainee Intern positions may do so by logging onto their R-CareerLink account and entering the key word search “Enterprise Holdings” on the Jobs for Tars page.

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