So you got a call-back from your dream employer, and now you have one week before you go in to meet with the hiring manager. After combing through various finance jobs on the internet and landing an interview, you're probably feeling a mixture of excitement, hope and anxiety. However, the clock is ticking, and using your time wisely can help you stroll in confidently and ace your meeting with employer.
Listed below are several actions you should take to get to know the company, develop well-thought answers to interview questions and manage the logistics of the meeting.
1. Practice your interview questions
Most people go through a test-run of the most common interview questions and their answers, and the sooner you do so, the more prepared you will be on interview day. In addition to reviewing the questions and answers by yourself, you can gain a great deal more experience and insight by recruiting a friend or family member to act as the interviewer and go through a test run. You might think that you have all your answers down, but having someone else ask you can provide you with trouble areas, responses that need more work or other no-no's you may have missed. In addition, having another person ask you questions—especially if they throw in their own—teaches you to think on your feet and helps you get accustomed to the interview style.
2. Do your research
Interviewers will undoubtedly want to see that you know a great deal about the company, so take the time to research it extensively. You don't have to know last quarter's earnings or who sits on the board of directors, but you should be able to give solid examples of why you want to work for the firm. You can highlight anything from its dedication to philanthropy, its unique training and professional development programs or its track record in working with reputable and influential clients. Doing research on the company will also give you more information so that you can formulate your own questions during the interview. While a meeting with a hiring manager is partly to measure your skills and appropriateness for the job, it's also an opportunity for you to learn more about what makes the company unique.
3. Reexamine the job description
It's common for employers to begin an interview by asking applicants to explain what they know about the job position. You may have been so inundated applying for jobs that you (embarrassingly) forgot about the role you are interviewing for. To avoid being stumped over this basic question, make sure you read up thoroughly on the job description and are prepared to provide specific answers on why your skills and qualifications match what the employer is seeking.
4. Take care of the logistics of the interview
On the morning of your meeting, the last thing you want to do is get in your car only to realize you forgot to print out copies of your resume, you're out of gas and you don't know how to get to the company. These are all scenarios that can be prevented with a little careful planning. Make sure you map quest and even go for a test drive to the company the day before so that you know how to get there and won't be late. It's also important to have your interview clothing dry-cleaned and at least three copies of your resume printed out. Lastly, gather the contact information of those who will interview you so that you can send out Thank You notes immediately following the meeting.