You've spent hours tailoring your resume, wrote a stellar cover letter, and spent hours researching the company--and they've asked you for an interview. Walking into a room full of strangers to talk about yourself is stressful enough, so here are a couple of tips to make your time in the interview as painless as possible--and help land you the job.
1. Dress Professionally
“Look Sharp--do not wear a tuxedo.” There’s a saying that it never hurts to be over dressed. Wearing a tuxedo to a job interview is over dressing.
When in doubt always go with a business professional outfit. For menthat would be slacks, a button down, blazer, dress shoes, and tie. For women, a blazer, dress skirt or dress pants, flats or heels (2-3 inches), button down blouse, or business professional dress.
Wear solid colors such as, white, gray, black, or navy. Don't wear your “going out” clothes to the interview, and keep jewlery and accessories simple. Good grooming is essential, so have hair styled cleanly, keep fingernails clean, and have a mint on the drive over to make sure you get rid of the coffee breath (but never chew gum or suck on a mint in the interview).
Above all, present your best self to the interviewers. Wear clothes that make you feel proefssional and confident, and the rest will follow!
2. Be Prepared
Know the name of the interviewer, company, and position you are interviewing for. If you need to, print off a copy of the job description and write down the names of the interviewers on your padfolio before you enter the interview room to jog your memory.
Be able to pronounce the interviews name correctly. A person’s name is a part of their identity. Most people are insulted and offended when their name is repeatedly mispronounced or if they are consistently being called by another name. If you're not sure how to pronounce someone's name don't be afraid to ask. Listen closely when the person introduces themselves, and repeat it after them to ensure you've got it correctly. (This is also a great memory trick if you're prone to forgetting names.)
Research the person you are interviewing with. Connect with them on LinkedIn, and try to build a connection with the interviewer during the interview. Remember to be genuine and honest -- don't say you love to golf too if you've never been or know nothing about it. The interviewer has done their research on you, so you should do your research on them. You may have gone to the same college or share a hobby, which is a great way to start building a personal relationship.
Don't neglect researching the company: you should know the basic facts like when they were founded; what the company does; who their clients are; current events going on within the company. This shows you have put in the extra effort to make a connection.
- Go into the interview by yourself. The interviewer is interested in you and only you for this position. Remember to keep your personal life to yourself and leave your struggles or dilemmas in the car. Everyone goes through struggles and the interviewer is not a therapist. Do not give a negative response or speak poorly about past employers. No one wants a “Debbie-Downer” or “Eeyore” on their team. The interview time is your time to talk about you and your professional career. When asked a questions make sure to give a direct response. Always try to use examples from your most current work experience. Never assume the interviewer knows what you are talking about or knows the technical procedures behind the process. Go into detail about your expertise in the skills for the position. It is your time to “brag” about your accomplishments, just don’t be cocky.