Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Interviewing to the Finish Line By Nicole Grimes, M. Ed.

Whether you are interviewing for your next job or planning to meet a key business connection, planning ahead will always add value to your journey to the finish line – securing the opportunity. It starts by thinking about an interview as a process, and not a one-time event.

While we all are familiar when it comes to going to an interview, it is imperative that we are truly intentional when entering a competitive atmosphere. Quite often, you have less than 30 minutes to make a lasting impression…What you do before, during, and after the interview could determine your next level on your corporate/career ladder.

Before the Interview

  • Prepare copies of your resume & cover letter, and bring multiple copies to the interview.
  • Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. This means that you need to GPS the location, in advance and estimate time for any traffic you might encounter.
  • Do your research – Know what you are walking into, and be able to refer to important facts about the company during your conversation.
  •  Work on Your Elevator Pitch – Be ready to tell your story when you are asked to “tell  us about yourself…”
  • Electronics Off – leave your phone on silent or leave it in your car.
  • Dress for success – Regardless of the position you are interviewing for, you want to show that you mean business. A well-fitted black or navy suit with conservative shoes sets a polished tone while making a powerful statement.

During the Interview:

  • Come prepared to share – After conducting your research about the company/organization, come prepared to share how you can help to support the mission and vision through your body of work. Reflect upon your prior experiences that would contribute to making the company or organization a success.
  • Take notes and Take Your Time – Bring a notepad and a pen to take notes during the interview, jot down thoughts, and to stay focused on questions being asked. Keep your thoughts organized throughout the conversation by trying not to keep everything in your head.
  • Prepare Questions in Advance – In that same notepad, prepare 3 – 4 key questions to ask the interviewer/contact about the company. Don’t waste their time or yours by trying to come up with questions out of thin air. Be prepared. One key question should be about your next steps.

After the Interview:

  • Follow-Up, Follow-Up, Follow-Up – Send a thank you within 24 hours of the actual interview. In this message, revisit the key points of your elevator pitch to remind the interviewer of why you would add value to the company/organization.
  • Take time to reflect – Jot down your strengths, and areas you need to personally work on following the interview. Use those thoughts to fuel your next interview, and to strengthen your personal toolbox.  

Implement these key strategies to create your path to navigate your journey to the finish line.

Remember, everyone’s journey is different so be intentional on your way to the top!!

Make sure you follow Nicole at www.thenicolemg.com and on IG, Facebook and Twitter @thenicolemg 


  1. BOSS Lady, this blog was excellent, current and up to date. I needed this reminder as I speak with clients current and potential. Thank you.

  2. waoo well written post about Interviewing to the Finish Line By Nicole Grimes, M. Ed.


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