Employ Thoughtful Interview Strategies to Get the Job You Want
December 31, 2012
By: Steve Swanston, Executive Vice President at JMFA
In today’s highly competitive job market, standing out among the competition for that coveted dream job can be a nerve-racking experience. This is especially true in the financial services sector where down-sizing, mergers and acquisitions have released record numbers of applicants into the mix vying for fewer quality positions.
Given that more applicants may be applying for the position you are seeking, it is imperative to approach your next interview armed with strategies to impress; but make sure you’re making the kind of impression that will lead to new employment.
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Spend some time planning for your next job interview and keep the following tips in mind:
Research the institution and the position.
Before the interview, get to know as much as possible about the institution; this signals that you are serious about the opportunity to take on the job responsibilities required. The first question an astute interviewer may ask is ‘Tell me what you know about our credit union.’ By doing your homework, you can demonstrate immediately how much you know about the organization, its challenges and how your experience makes you the best fit for the position.
Find out what you can about the credit union’s culture. While the interviewer will be interested in your professional qualifications, he or she will also want to know if you are a good fit for the institution’s personality.
Act professionally with everyone you meet.
Don’t just put on your best face for the interviewer. Anyone you come in contact with could have an impact on the overall impression you make while you are inside the credit union – from the receptionist to the CEO. Appearing too casual may send a message that you’re not really serious about the job.
Watch what you say about previous employers.
While you may have had a difficult experience with a previous employer, airing your differences in a job interview leaves the impression that you lack good judgment, ethical standards and respect for others. If you are vying for a leadership position, it is imperative that you demonstrate your ability to move beyond disappointment and focus on constructive actions and attitudes. Besides, new employers don’t want to worry that a leader within the organization is the type to air differences with colleagues, subordinates or members.
Make sure your resume is perfect.
In many cases, your resume will be the first impression a potential employer has of you and the expertise you will bring to the organization. Keep in mind there may be hundreds of resumes submitted for the job you are seeking. So, in addition to including a succinct summary of your qualifications and accomplishments, make sure the spelling, grammar and format throughout your document are perfect.
Mind your social network Ps & Qs.
In today’s environment, one of the first ways that HR professionals and recruiters check on a job applicant is through social network sites. For that reason, it is to your advantage to be connected to as many industry-related networking groups as possible. Plus, it is beneficial to have a LinkedIn profile.
A word of warning however, if you spend much time online. Be very aware of anything you post on the internet. Questionable material and/or photos that appear on a Facebook page or anywhere else on the web could become a big problem should they surface in any kind of reference or background check. Make sure you maintain an impeccable online reputation.
John M. Floyd & Associates (JMFA), a Preferred Business Partner for the Northwest Credit Union Association, is a leading provider of profitability and performance-improvement consulting. For more than 30 years, JMFA has been recognized as one of the most trusted names in the industry, helping financial institutions enhance their bottom line with programs like JMFA Overdraft Privilege®. JMFA is also recognized for earnings enhancement and expense control programs, training, executive placement, account acquisition programs as well as product, service, pricing and technology-improvement consulting. Simply stated, JMFA’s programs and services are designed to increase income or reduce expenses. JMFA is proud to be a preferred provider among many industry groups. To learn more about JMFA, contact Terry Downey, JMFA regional director, at Terry.Downey@JMFA.com or (971) 200-0022.