Interview Preparation Tips
Going to a job interview can be as exciting as it is strenuous. You have passed the application process and now have an opportunity to meet your potential future employer face to face. Here’s our favorite list of job interview preparation tips, which you can take to ensure that you’re not only prepared for the interview, but also make a personal connection with the person you are interviewing with.
When you call to schedule your interview, find out the names of the people you are meeting with beforehand. Always use people’s names when you communicate with them on the phone and when you get to the office. People often underestimate the importance of remembering the name of those you encounter, from secretaries to the person interviewing you, to the head of the company. This helps to personalize the interaction between you and your potential employer.
Dress To Impress
Making a good first impression on a potential employer is key when going to any job interview. Dressing your best is the most immediate way to make a strong first impression. You want to pick out an outfit that shows the interviewer you care about this job. That’s why it’s important to pick out an outfit that shows professionalism – one that’s neat and not too loud. You don’t want your outfit to be a distraction, so it’s best to keep it simple and conservative. Wearing the right attire is not only the mark of a professional, but can be a sign of confidence as well.
Show Up Early
The only thing better than showing up on time for an interview is showing up early. Showing your potential employer that you’re prompt is another good way to make a strong first impression before they’ve even had a chance to meet you. Know your route and plan for extra traffic. The rule of thumb is to always leave early and show up early. Arriving 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time is ideal. This will also allow you time to collect your thoughts and feel less rushed before beginning.
Run through mock interviews with someone else. Be prepared for any and all questions that might come your way. Writing notes ahead of time will help make those responses second nature. This way, you develop confidence in your speaking skills and don’t have to think about your answers on the spot.
Up To Date Resume
Make sure that your potential employer has an up to date copy of your resume. It doesn’t hurt to bring another few copies with you, even if you assume they’ve already seen and read through it. Your resume is your personal history. No one knows your personal history better than you do. You should be able to answer any and all questions the interviewer has about your resume quickly and calmly.
Ask Intelligent Questions
Ask a handful of questions which are relevant to the position you’re seeking. Think ahead of time about aspects of the company and/or position to be used for developing dialogue. Asking questions at the interview is another good way of showing that you’ve taken an interest in the company and the position you’re applying for.
You’re the Product
Above all else, you’re selling yourself to your employer. Let them know why they would benefit from hiring you as a new addition to their staff. Be energetic, engaging, and conversational. It’s good to let your personality shine throughout the interview and be sure to come across as relaxed.
Choose References Wisely
Keep your references aware of the fact that they might be receiving a phone call from a potential employer in the near future. Think of them as a tool in your interview process. You want them to be prepared as well. Who can speak to your abilities best in the field that you’re most interested in finding a job? Who knows you the best and can speak highly of your character and work ethic? Who not only knows you the best, but can articulate all of these qualities effectively?
Make It Your Best!
Remember you have one opportunity to make a first impression, so it’s important to make it your best. In the event that your initial interview leads to a follow up, you’ll want to continue utilizing these tips so that you maintain a level of consistency. Maintain the standard that you’ve set for yourself.
Photo credit: Alan Cleaver / CC BY 2.0