DO YOUR HOMEWORK
It is important that you research the company and the position before your interview. Empower yourself with knowledge. Understand the type of company, the size, culture and reputation in the market place. Ask yourself how your experience lends itself to this new opportunity. Be prepared to answer questions about how you would meet the challenges of the position.
CHANGE SOCIAL NETWORKING PROFILES TO PRIVATE
Hiring managers are utilizing the social networking sites to learn about candidate lifestyles. Don’t be eliminated before the interview by having inappropriate content on your page. Clean it up and change the settings to “private”.
Make sure your professional online presence on sites such as LinkedIn are consistent with your resume.
DRESS IN A CONSERVATIVE MANNER
Experts say it takes between ten and fifteen seconds to make a first impression. And we all know there is only one chance to make a first impression, so make it positive. Wear business attire to an interview. Depending of the level of the position you are interviewing for – a business suit may be appropriate, otherwise at a minimum a conservative shirt, pants or skirt. Do not wear heavy cologne, perfume, or jewelry. Women should not wear low necklines or short skirts.
BE ON TIME
Arrive fifteen minutes prior to your interview. Arriving earlier than fifteen minutes is disruptive to the interviewer’s schedule. Arriving later than that raises red flags regarding your ability to be on time for work.
If possible, drive to the location prior to your interview to ensure that you are prepared for any issues related to construction or parking.
FIRM HANDSHAKE AND GOOD EYE CONTACT
It is amazing what is conveyed by a firm handshake and good eye contact. Remember, most of our communication is nonverbal. Be aware of what your body language is saying about you.
Bring more resumes than you anticipate needing. You may be asked to interview with additional members of the staff, so avoid an awkward moment by having extra resumes to offer upon introduction. It sends the message that you are proactive and prepared.
TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF
Don’t let an unscheduled call, an alert or an annoying vibration interfere with your interview. Make sure your cell phone is off prior to the beginning of the interview.
Use a notepad to write questions you want to ask during the interview. Most people are a little nervous when they interview and tend to forget even well thought out questions.
Ask the interviewer if they mind if you jot down a few notes during the interview. There may be some points that need further clarification or skills you want to emphasize. Writing notes enables you to revisit those areas at the appropriate time. Avoid using an electronic device to take down your notes because they can be a distraction.
KNOW YOUR LINES
Whether you like it or not, interviewing is a performance and you’re the star. You must know your lines so that you can deliver information in a clear, concise and confident manner. Know your strengths and weaknesses, reasons you left positions, your goals and accomplishments, and why they should hire YOU for the position.
It is important that you don’t go off on tangents. Mirror the interviewer’s level of conversation so that you don’t appear to be controlling the interview. Avoid “yes” and “no” answers.
There are many resources available to prepare for your interview. Do your homework so you don’t appear as though you have never given any thought to their questions prior to the interview. Refer to “Job Interview: Best Tips and Preparation” by Bob Wayne as a resource.
QUESTIONS NOT TO ASK
Don’t ask questions regarding salary, benefits, vacation or hours during the interview. There is an appropriate time to get those questions answered and it is not during the initial interview. Discussing these questions prematurely makes you appear more concerned with salary and benefits then the actual position.
VOICE YOUR INTEREST AND ENTHUSIASM
Even if you don’t have a sales bone in your body an interview involves some salesmanship. Don’t assume they know you are interested – communicate it.
SEND A THANK YOU NOTE
It’s the final touch and it’s a must! Ask for a business card so that you have their contact information. Send out a brief thank you email and follow it up by a handwritten thank you note. Make sure that your communications via email and notecard are error free.