Interview Tips From a Human Resources Generalist

by Megan

I have been hiring employees in a manufacturing facility for three years. I hire both full time and temporary employees. I will interview more than a hundred people in a three month period. There are some things a job seeker can do to stand out over the rest.

First, my impression of you begins when you send in your application or resume. Did you fill out all of the boxes? Did you provide all of the information requested? Did you sign the application? Did you only include truthful information?

It's all right to ask for two copies of the application. If you make a mistake, start over. Don't spill on the application. If you smoke, know that you're sealing cigarette smoke into the envelope, and your resume will carry that smell.

Fill out your application using blue or black ink, never pencil.

Change your answering machine or voice mail message to something professional. Don't use ring-back tones on your phone. I'm very busy, and I don't have time to listen to your favorite song while I wait for your voice mail to pick up. Is your email address cutesy or suggestive? Clean it up today.

Be on time for your interview. If you're going to be late, call and let me know. Showing up late and acting as if it doesn't matter tells me a lot about your work ethic and how dedicated you will be to your job. Don't make up an excuse. Apologize and move on.

During the interview, be yourself. If you're trying to be someone that you're not, it will show through pretty quickly. Don't be shy about your accomplishments. This is the time to sell yourself. If you're not comfortable doing it, practice. Make a list.

Note from Lisa: Please see the article Good Answers to Interview Questions for information about how to describe your greatest weakness in a job interview
Be prepared with strengths and weaknesses. Sure, asking this question may be a cliché, but I do want to know if you've given this any thought.

Be prepared to give examples of situations where you've outperformed your coworkers or saved the day. And by all means, take a moment to think. There's nothing wrong with sitting for a moment to compose an answer.

Ask me questions. Whether the questions are about the company, the tasks, the culture, or why I like my job, make me believe that you truly want this job. What you do during the interview decides whether you get hired temporarily, full time or not at all.

Lisa's Response

Megan, thank you so much for taking the time to provide so much excellent advice on how to make a good impression at a job interview. Your tips are extremely helpful.

For readers, here are links to a few articles on this site that expand on some of the excellent points that Megan has made.

Blank Employment Application - Tips for filling out a job application form

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