GOOD PREPARATION FOR JOB INTERVIEWS
You have finally landed that one coveted interview. Someone at your future employer liked your resume enough to give you a call and get you in front of their hiring people. This is what you wanted. This is why you labored over your resume for so long and hard. This is your opportunity to finally get a chance at working for the company you know is going somewhere. Now, don’t mess it up.
You’ve done everything you can and it is finally paying off. You have an interview scheduled for the job you have always wanted at the company you have always dreamed of working at. They already have your resume. If you created it strong enough they already know more about you than you do about them. What can you do to improve your odds of having the best interview you can? Here is a list of ten absolutes in your preparation for the best interview yet!
1) PLENTY OF REST: Get plenty of rest. Don’t go out the night before. There should be absolutely no drinking or partying before your interview. Go to bed early, alone. Try to get the entire, recommended eight hours of rest. Don’t take chances on yawning or getting drowsy during the interview. You need to be your sharpest today.
2) RESERVE THE ENTIRE DAY: Make no plans for the day other than the interview. The time was once where you could go to work in the morning, run out at lunch, have an interview and be back to work before your lunch hour was over. Those times are gone. You can’t depend on just dropping by the prospective employers offices and getting the job. You do not want any distractions such as having to get to a second appointment of any kind. If you are currently working take a vacation day. You never know if they are going to take a shine to you right away. Maybe they will want you to talk to some other management people, or maybe they will want to give you and extended tour right now, or have you meet your prospective staff. Keep all time available for this one opportunity.
3) THOROUGH HYGIENE: It goes without question that you must be as clean as clean can be. Look sharp and be sharp. Get a fresh haircut. Clip your nails. Polish your shoes. Shave as close as you have ever shaved. Even consider wearing the time tested interview outfit; dark, navy suit, white shirt, red tie, and black shiny shoes. The same outfit holds true for women. Take breath mints with you. Maybe you don’t have bad breath but you don’t naturally have minty fresh breath either. Pluck those unsightly rebel hairs. Don’t let anything distract your interviewer’s attention.
4) LIMIT INTAKE: Avoid having breakfast this morning. If it is an afternoon appointment, don’t eat lunch either. There will be plenty of time for eating after you have blown these people away and you have the job in your back pocket. Food may give you energy, but it can also give you gas, unfriendly urges, the need to make unpopular visits to other rooms and it can unpolitely interrupt the one most important moment of your vocational career. Don’t take any chances.
5) KNOW THE COMPANY: With the internet at our immediate disposal there is no reason you should not know something about the company. Google the company you are interviewing with. Search for the division where the prospective position is going to be located. Know their product, their customer base, sometimes you can even find a little about their executive staff. Be as knowledgeable on the company as you can.
6) COPIES OF RESUME: You have already sent your resume in to them. If they were impressed enough they called you in for an interview, which they did. Sometimes they make copies of the resume for everyone that will be interviewing you, sometimes not. You should take a portfolio of some kind with you anyway. Simply tuck half a dozen copies of your resume in that portfolio. Maybe you won’t need them at all, but if someone asks for one you have it right there.
7) ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS: You should have read up on what questions may be asked at interviews. If you did, you should also have prepared answers to every one of those questions. Practice those questions. Make sure you know the answers. Don’t fabricate anything; answer truthfully. The truth will make it easier to answer them as well.
8) EXAMPLES OF WORK: If you have some, take some examples of your work. Not all jobs will be the kind that you can take examples. If this one does though, take your best work. Maybe procedures you have written, customer letters you have developed, problems you have solved, methods you sued to save dollars, anything you can have documented and ready to hand out if they ask. Even if they don’t ask you can work it into one of your answers then hand out your example. Impressive!
9) QUESTIONS TO ASK: Hopefully you have also read up on what questions you should ask them. Inevitably they will ask you if you have any questions for them. Take your prepared list and slide it out of your portfolio when they do ask. Take notes on every answer they give. Stay away from questions about compensation or benefits at this time. If they bring the subject up it is fine to pursue it but don’t initiate the subject yourself.
10) REFERENCES: I hope when it comes to your resume you never used the phrase “available upon request.” Why make them ask for something; give of it freely. Just in case however, take a list of references with you. Include the individuals name, their company position, where they work, their relationship to you and their telephone number. Give your potential employer every bit of information they need. Your references may be a great help in landing this job. Make sure you have selected them wisely. Test your references first also. Ensure they are all on board being a positive voice for you.
There are ten relatively simple hints on how to make this best interview ever. You’ve done everything else you needed to do, now don’t let not being ready for the interview lose you this one great opportunity. Planning and preparations, they are your best tools.