I cannot tell you how many times I have said “I need to write a book on the interview experiences I have had” as a Director of HR. It is amazing how many candidates I have interviewed that have had a good chance of landing a job due to their skill set, yet have lost out on that opportunity due to arriving late, not being prepared or a variety of other very INTERESTING reasons (this is where the book comes in!) I thought it would be handy to produce a list of
some “Do’s” to consider when you are getting ready for an interview!
Let’s start get started:
1. Dress to impress
Ok, so this doesn’t mean showing up to the interview in a tuxedo, it means, dress
professionally. Don’t show up to a professional interview wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
Ensure your attire is ironed and not full of wrinkles. If you are attending a professional interview, I would suggest professional attire – shirt, tie, dress pants, a business suit, or dress pants/skirt and dressy shirt. Your dress may change if you are attending an interview in a different industry such as construction. For this kind of an interview, I would normally suggest that you wear some nice Khaki’s and a dress shirt. The key here is to dress for the position and the company.
Arrive to your interview 10 – 15 minutes ahead of time. Arriving late does not impress the interviewers.
Ensure you are comfortable with where the interview is being held – maybe do a drive-by to
check it out prior to the interview to ensure you won’t have any problems finding it.
4. Who are you meeting with?
Get the name of the person(s) you are meeting with and ensure you remember that name for the
day of the interview.
5. Research the Company
Make sure you check out the company you will be interviewing with. Quite often, we as interviewers will check to see how interested you really are in our company. How do we do this? Well, we ask you questions like: “So what is it that you like about our company?” “Can you tell us a little about the products/services we provide and why it is that you feel you would be a good fit for this position?” So…it pays to know a little about the company to be able to answer these questions. As well, to REALLY impress us, try to include details about the company in some of your responses. i.e. “I noticed that your company is very interested in new technology and keeping up with new trends. In my current job, I take pride in introducing new products that will enhance the workplace and efficiency to our management team.”
6. Your Current Resume
Bring along a copy or two of your current resume. The one you had submitted to the company may have been altered since then, or there may be someone else joining in on the interview.
7. The Hand Shake
Wow this one really gets to me. When a candidate arrives for an interview and greets me with what I call the “limp fish” handshake it says a lot about the individual. Ensure to give a firm handshake. Don’t cut off the circulation in the interviewer’s hand but give them a firm handshake indicating that you mean business. A firm handshake eludes confidence, sincerity, interest and so much more.
8. Eye Contact
Ensure during your interview that you look each interviewer in the eye when you are responding to them and listening to them. Non-verbal communication like eye contact or lack-there-of creates an
image of who you are to the interviewer. If you don’t look them in the eye it can indicate that you are making up your answers, you are lying or are not sincere. Strong eye contact indicates that you are interested, you are truthful and you know what you are talking about.
9. Bring Questions
Most of the time you will be given an opportunity to ask a few questions at the end of the interview. Don’t bring a binder worth…be ready with about 4 questions with your most important ones at the top. Some sample questions may be: “When do you plan to make a decision?” “Can you tell me about the steps in your recruitment process?” “Is this a new position, or a vacant position” “Can you tell me what you are looking for in a candidate for this position?” (this one is a nice one as you can use the answers in a summary statement at the end of your interview. Meaning, you can talk about why you are the right person for the job as you possess (and then name) those items they are looking for.
10. Be on your Toes
You never know who you may encounter when you arrive at an interview. The Administrative Assistant is often a fountain of knowledge to interviewers after the interviews have concluded. You may encounter a manager or someone else on your way in the door. Always be courteous and
These are just a few tips….there are more to come and ensure to stay tuned for the Don’ts…oh yes, there will be some doozies 😉