How do you prepare to ensure you enter the room and showcase your talents to the best of your ability? Here are a few suggestions from The Career Empress.
- Do your research! Understand the company and know the industry. Never walk into an interview without knowledge of the products and or industry of the company you want to become a part of. This also allows you to ask better questions during the interview.
- Come dressed for success. A first impression cannot be redone. Take time to have your clothes professionally dry cleaned days before your interview. Understand the role you will represent at the company and dress accordingly. If you are applying for a professional position business attire is expected. If the environment if more casual and relaxed you should still arrive neat and well groomed.
- Understand your assets. Before the interview make note of all the skills you possess that the employer is seeking. Be prepared to discuss examples of times you have demonstrated the skill set needed for the job.
- Practice! Be prepared to tell them about yourself. Take time to write a short paragraph about yourself. Then practice saying it in mirror. Practice interview questions. Do a google search of interview questions and have a friend or family member ask them. If you know someone in the industry ask them if they have more specific interview questions. Networking has its benefits.
- Know where you are going! Enter the address into your GPS or look up directions on Google. Understand the parking situation before hand. Have change for the meter if necessary. If possible drive over a few days before to test traffic patterns. This allows you to arrive a few minutes early and not panic the day of the interview.
- Don’t forget your portfolio! It should contain your references, extra copies of your resume, a note pad and any questions for your interviewer.
- Turn your phone off! Cellphones interrupt us all day long. Even when it is on silent the light flashing can become an instant distraction. Remember your goal is to make a positive impression and secure employment. That phone call can wait and if it is important they will leave a message.
- Understand your body language. When you enter the room greet all parties with a smile and give a firm handshake. During the interview sit up straight. Don’t slouch, chew gum or fidget. Pay attention to those speaking to you and look interested. When it’s your turn to speak, take your time and speak clearly and articulate. Keep your answers simple and short.
- Always be honest! Most companies do background searches and will immediately remove you from consideration if you have falsified any information on your application or during the interview. If asked a question you feel extremely uncomfortable with try answering with a question. It might not always work but may be worth a try.
- Follow up. Reach out by calling or sending a thank you note after the interview. Remind the employer of your attributes and how you can’t wait to join their team!
I hope these tips help you during your job search. Feel free to share more tips below.