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Success tips for job applications: Part II

Date posted:  8/12/16 09:00:00 AM

Submitting your résumé and application is just the beginning of the process. The first part of our series provided crucial suggestions and tips for the initial application. This second part serves as a guide for those who move on in the interview process.

From email follow-ups to in person interviews, knowing how to present yourself and how to improve your chances of being hired is critical. Follow these tips once you gain the attention of a hiring manager:

Recognize your success
While it doesn't mean you got the job by any means, taking a second to reward yourself and recognize that your résumé and cover letter gained interest and attention is important. When searching for a job, it is easy to quickly become overwhelmed and hopeless when sending out numerous applications never to hear back from anyone. So, when you finally get a response from someone who wants to move forward with your application, make sure you celebrate a little.

Understand the next step
Typically a recruiter or hiring manager will indicate he or she is interested in moving forward with your application and will provide you with the next steps of the process. These can vary from company to company, so make sure you read the instructions carefully.

In some instances you will be asked to provide additional information, so make sure you have references or examples of some of your work prepared in advance. Be prompt and send it as soon as you can.

Phone interview tips
If you are invited to participate in a phone or video interview, check your calendar and respond quickly with your availability. Try not to be too complicated when scheduling an interview. Even if your time is limited, you must make time for these steps of the process to be seriously considered for a position.

Fast Company indicated that a professional greeting is key to a successful phone or video interview session. Instead of answering the phone and only saying, "Hello," let the person know who you are right away. In addition, you should also thank the interviewer for taking the time to talk to you about the position and for giving you the opportunity to learn more about the company.

Practice answering questions and talking about your experience on the phone prior to the interview. The more comfortable and confident you are with the cadence of a phone conversation, the better off you will be when you speak to the hiring manager who is conducting the interview.

Video interview tips
With the progression of technology, another popular form of interviewing candidates is to conduct a video interview. U.S. News & World Report indicated it is becoming far more popular as it allows a hiring manager to interact with applicants on a deeper level.

"There are generally two types of video interviews a candidate may encounter," said Christopher Young, CEO of Async Interview, a video interviewing technology provider, according to U.S. News & World Report. "One-way interviews, such as the type of interviews that Async provides, pre-screen candidates by having them respond to pre-set questions without a recruiter on the other end. Another approach is a two-way interview, conducted using Skype-like technology. Candidates and recruiters interact as part of a two-way, live interactive interview process. These are typically used later in the interview process."

When you participate in a video interview, treat it as though it is an in-person meeting. Dress for the job from head to toe and make eye contact by looking at the webcam, not just the screen.

Following a successful video or phone interview, you may be invited to come into the office, meet with some members of the team and participate in an onsite interview. This next step requires additional preparation

Dress your best
According to The Muse, the culture of wherever you are interviewing can impact what you decide to wear the day you meet your interviewers. However, keep in mind that you want to indicate you are the right person for the job.

"The rule still applies that you dress for the job you want—not the job you have or are applying for," said Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert.

A jacket with pants or a skirt in a neutral color is usually a good go-to, but depending on the industry and atmosphere, you may be able to dress down a bit. Just remember, it's usually better to be a bit overdressed than far too underdressed.

Think neat, clean and ready to go when piecing together your ensemble. Funky colors and patterns don't have a place in your outfit the day you go in for your interview, so try to keep it simple. If you want to showcase your personality more, do so with small accents, jewelry or other accessories.

Heading to the interview
According to U.S. News & World Report, you will want to get to the interview location early, but not too early. Aim for walking through the door five minutes before your scheduled interview time.

If you find that you are too early, spend some time outside the building preparing a bit more or head to the bathroom to make sure you look your best.

Do not bring your own beverage to the interview under any circumstance. If you stopped to grab a tea or coffee on the way in, dispose of the cup before heading into the building. You may also want to pop a mint in after consuming a beverage as well.

Relax and converse
While the primary reason you have been called in is to see if you are the right fit for the position, it is also an ideal time for hiring managers and the team to evaluate whether you are a good fit for the company.

Engage in quality conversation when appropriate and allow the interviewers to get a better idea of who you are as a person.