How to WOW in Your Initial Interview

When it comes to interviews, first impressions count. Big time.

And they count even more so during a first or initial interview.

Setting the tone and taking some control over the interview is critical to landing the insurance job you’re gunning for. Read below for some tips to help you knock that first interview out of the park.

  • Come prepared; do your research. Check out the company’s website, Google its name for news about its products, services, plans, goals, etc. Even Google the hiring manager’s name so that you can see what he or she has done in the past and what you have in common.
  • If going to an interview in person, bring copies of your resume and cover letter. If this first interview is a phone or Skype interview, have these documents handy so that you may reference them.
  • Dress professionally, even if you’re “just” interviewing for an administrative assistant position. You’ll also want to dress professionally even if you’re having a phone interview or a video interview. You’ll feel more professional and your attitude will shine through.
  • Ask questions yourself. No, not “How much does this job pay and how much paid vacation time do I get?” (You can ask those questions in a subsequent interview.) Your research undoubtedly will unearth some interesting things about the company. For example, if you find that the firm is planning to grow by 20 percent in the next five years, mention that you read that fact and ask how this position fits into the company’s expansion plans.
  • If your research uncovered an issue or challenge facing the company, discuss how your particular skills/background will help solve those problems. Taking the planned growth example above, you could state that your experience training new agents could prove useful to the company as it hires even more employees.
  • Even if you don’t find anything about the company’s plans in your research, ask questions such as:
    • How did this position become open? Is it a new position or did someone leave?
    • What are the first things you’ll want the person hired for this position to do in the first few weeks on the job?
    • If you could choose just one thing about the perfect candidate, what attributes, skills or education would that candidate have?
    • See if you can start strategizing the solutions to problems that your interviewer brings up during the interview. This helps you come across as someone who’s already partnering with the hiring manager to fix problems and solve challenges. The hiring manager will start seeing you as someone who’s already part of the team.
    • At the end of the interview, make sure you ask about the hiring timeline. Will the hiring manager be calling people back for second or third interviews? If so, when? If you’re called back, will there be other managers with whom you’ll be interviewing?
    • As you get ready to leave, stand up, hold out your hand to shake the hiring manager’s hand goodbye and state that you’re very interested in the position and would look forward to working with the hiring manager if hired.

The recruiters at Insurance Relief™ can help you prepare for a first, second, or even third interview with one of our many insurance clients. Send us your resume today; we look forward to hearing from you.