The interview is where you need to make your best impression. You want to look, sound, and act your best. And with careful, thorough preparation, the interview provides you the opportunity to showcase what you know and who you are.
Regardless of how introverted or naturally shy, you may be, anyone can learn to interview well. It merely takes knowing some basic rules and then practicing and refining your technique as much as possible.
Some basic facts about the interview
- First impressions are key
- The interviewer generally decides whether to hire you in the first five minutes
- Excellent interpersonal skills are essential
- Try and control the tempo and flow of the interview
- Remember that you are selling a product — yourself — so don’t be modest
After accepting an interview, research should always be your first step. The online speech therapy employer will expect you to know something about the company and expect you to understand why you will fit in well there. You need to be prepared to answer the questions, “What do you know about us?” and “Why do you want to work here?”
You need to…
- Research the teletherapy provider thoroughly, including key personnel, locations, services, corporate culture, and the like.
- Research the position. Learn everything you can about the qualifications and qualities that the employer seeks for the job.
- Research the interviewer. If possible, ask about who will be interviewing you — using Google, LinkedIn, and other social media to learn about each person.
- Research the type of interview. When you’re invited to the interview, ask about the kind of interview to expect — and the type of questions.
Bottom line, you need to assure your interviewer that you are crystal clear as to the company’s expectation from your day to day at work. Become familiar with the daily life and challenges an online speech therapist meets in that setting. You need to walk into the interview with realistic expectations of what the job entails.
Here’s a simple truth: the more you prepare for an interview, the more you’re likely to succeed. Create your list of commonly asked interview questions related to the type of job interview you’re expecting — and develop responses that showcase your abilities and accomplishments — and what you can do for your next employer.
Do not memorize your responses but develop some narrative or story to help you remember the key points you want to express. Practice your interviewing style and answers to critical questions, and ask a friend to take you through a mock interview. The more you practice, the more self-assured and relaxed you will be during the interview.
3. Dress for Success
Recruiters are no different than anyone else. They make snap judgments based on personal appearance, so make sure you dress appropriately for the interview. Dressing unprofessionally or showing up poorly groomed may cost you a job opportunity.
It is safer to be more formal and business-like in your attire for your interview. Neutral colors such as gray, black, navy, and brown are preferred for interviews. Keep ties, scarves and jewelry and makeup understated.
4. Use Your Head!
Be polite and professional. Keep in mind that your interview begins the minute you connect on the screen. How you behave during the interview indicates to your prospective online speech therapy employer the expectation of how you will interact with co-workers and supervisors if you are hired.
- Find out the interviewer’s name and use it as soon as possible during the interview. If the company didn’t inform you, do your best to find it out beforehand.
- At the start of the interview: smile, make eye contact, and offer a warm greeting to each interviewer.
- Speak confidently and passionately. Showcase your knowledge and preparation.
5. Show Time
- Keep the conversation with the interviewer focused on your skills and abilities and the requirements of the job. Respect the interviewer’s time. Don’t get side-tracked into a discussion about your personal life or other things.
- Be sure not to interrupt the interviewer; allow her to direct the conversation. Because your responses need to be thoughtful, it is vital to listen attentively to the interviewer’s questions. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification. Answer questions thoroughly, but avoid rambling on or offering off-topic replies.
- Know your strengths and articulate them with confidence. Prepare specific examples to illustrate your skills as well as answers to difficult questions you might expect. Before the interview concludes, attempt to showcase your knowledge of the company while demonstrating a legitimate interest in wanting to know more.
- Be ready to explain employment gaps and be honest about why you left a previous job. Interviewers know that even good candidates can find themselves in less than ideal situations and need to move on. Without being defensive, explain what happened, accept responsibility (if relevant) for your part in the termination, and articulate what lessons you learned from the experience.
- Even if you have a pretty good understanding of the job requirements, it is still important to ask questions. Ideally, you should be weaving questions into the interview, and those questions should focus on the employer’s expectations of you and how your job success is measured.
- It is essential to display an emotional connection to whatever this online speech therapy job means to you. Let the interviewer know that it’s about more than just a paycheck. It is also important to show passion about what it is that you’re offering to the employer. Talk about the enthusiasm that drove you to want to become an online speech therapist in the first place.
If you are interested in the job, make that clear to the interviewer, and ask about the next steps in the process. Thank the interviewer after the interview and send an authentic and timely thank-you-note. Whenever possible fire off a short and professional thank-you by email followed by a longer thank-you letter by postal mail.
Since the personal touch knows no substitute, it is advisable to send an old-fashioned handwritten note on nice card-stock provides. Thank-you notes also allow you to emphasize a key point perhaps only mentioned in the interview. Remember to carefully spell check — especially the person’s name and the name of the employer — before sending!