Research the company.
Do a little homework! Research the company and the position if possible, as well, the people you will meet with at the interview. Google the company, visit their website and check out their social networking pages, if applicable. Learn as much as you can about the company’s mission, objectives, goals, and future plans. Be ready to support past career accomplishments with specific information targeted toward the companies needs.
Practice makes perfect.
Check out our Common Interview Questions and be prepared to answer them. Write down answers if it helps to make your presentation more concise. Try to keep your answers to the information your new employer will want to know.
Be on time.
There is no excuse for being late. Blaming it on traffic or anything else doesn’t matter (even if it’s true). Be sure to have directions printed out so you know where you are going ahead of time to prevent any tardiness.
Make a good first impression.
You should go to the interview alone – no children or friends. Greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake.
Cell phone off.
This seems like common sense, but double and triple check that your phone is on silent before entering the interview so there are no distractions.
Dress for success.
Make sure you go into a job interview having showered and wearing clean clothes. If you like wearing cologne or perfume, don’t wear any on the day of the interview. What’s subtle smelling to you may be overwhelming to your interviewer.
Even though your interviewer will most likely have a copy of your resume, be sure to bring along some extra copies just in case, as well as printed-out references and a notepad and pen should you want to jot down any notes during the interview. Being prepared shows you are serious about this job.
In particular, avoid negative comments about past employers. Bad mouthing a previous boss in a job interview is a huge negative. They may have been the worst boss in the world but expressing that in a job interview is a huge mistake. Be upbeat, smile and answer questions positively.
Make good eye contact.
Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Show you want the job with your interest. Staring at the floor, ceiling, or wall when speaking or listening makes you appear disinterested. Again, simple and obvious but happens way more then you’d think.
Be Adaptable and Relatable.
Listen and adapt. Be sensitive to the style of the interviewer. Pay attention to those details of dress, office furniture, and general decor which will afford helpful clues to assist you in tailoring your presentation. Try to relate your answers to the interviewer and his or her company. Focus on achievements relevant to the position.
At the end of the job interview make sure you have some questions to ask. If the interviewer doesn’t offer you a chance, ask to ask. Again, it reinforces your strong interest in the job.
Say Thank You.
Thank the interviewer for his or her time and request a business card. Shake hands in closing. Two or three days after the interview send a thank you note addressed to the interviewers. Here are some basic tips for writing a Thank You note:
Thank You Notes
After your interview, be sure to write a thank you note to the employer or interviewer. This is very important because a thank you note gives you one more chance to remind the employer about the special skills that you can bring to the company.
It is a good idea to request the interviewer’s business card before leaving the interview. This will help when writing your thank you note to correctly spell the interviewer’s name and job title.
Tips for thank you notes:
Neatly hand write or type the note.
- Address the note to the interviewer or the lead interviewer.
- Keep it short. (No longer than one page.)
- First paragraph: Thank the employer for the interview. Also, mention that you are interested in the position.
- Second paragraph: Briefly state a few of your skills without repeating the information on your résumé word for word. Include any important information not mentioned at the interview.
- Third paragraph: Provide your contact information, telephone number with area code, and an e-mail address, if available.
- Sign the note with your first and last name.
- Proofread the note to check for spelling or grammar errors. Ask another person to proofread the note.
- Mail the note within two to three days after your interview.
Top Reasons Why People Don’t Get Hired:
- Untidy personal appearance
- Inability to express information clearly
- Lack of genuine interest or enthusiasm
- Unwillingness to start at the bottom
- Negative attitude
- Lack of eye contact
- Incomplete or sloppy application
- Being late for the interview