2008-01-04 17:10:57: Acing the Interview

So, you got the phone call and you’ve scheduled the interview. Here are some tips to help you ace the interview and get the job…

• Research the business where you will be interviewing. It’s a good idea to know a little bit about the funeral home – their history, the owners and how they relate to the community.
• Make sure to arrive on time, even a little early. Being late is never good – if there is an unexpected delay, be sure to call ahead and let them know, and offer to reschedule.
• Make sure to shake your interviewer’s hand with confidence.
• Practice your interviewing skills – find a friend to help you or you can even use a mirror – it’s a good idea to sharpen your conversation skills for the upcoming interview. Don’t be afraid to take a moment to collect your thoughts when answering a question – it’s better than quickly blurting out the wrong thing!
• Think about answering some of the common interview questions, such as “where do you want to be in 5 years?” (Working for that company, of course!)
• Be confident and be truthful. Know your strengths and play them up. Try to minimize weaknesses, or turn them in to positives – for instance, if you are a stickler or a perfectionist, you can turn this in to “detail-oriented” and “thorough.”
• Highlight any special skills you have that will fit in well with their organization.
• Definitely convey your interest for the position, your enthusiasm (shows you are easy to get along with and a team player) and reliability. Tell them why you would make a great addition to their team.
• Make positive eye contact with the interviewer and be relaxed. If you need to meditate before-hand, do it!
• Be careful not to use “filler” words like, “um” or “like” or “you know.” Speak concisely.
• Make sure you are dressed appropriately – a professional suit, polished shoes and neatly groomed appearance.
• Bring extra copies of your résumé, references and your basic information, in case they want you to fill out pertinent information for hiring.
• Ask questions – an interview is also your way of finding out whether or not the position is the right fit for you.
• Ask for a business card so you can send a thank you note after the interview.
• Thank your interviewer for their time and the opportunity to meet with them.

Remember that working for a funeral home is a unique professional niche, and you need to convey that you are ethical, professional, competent and compassionate. Likely the position you are being hired for will be dealing with families going through some difficult times. Your future employer needs to be confident that you will be able to handle challenging situations with grace and aplomb and give comfort to their clients.
Be prepared and be confident – you have a lot to offer a future employer. Give yourself a little pep talk in the mirror before you go in for the interview. Take a deep breath and focus on the positive and go ace your interview!