Seven Important Tips that will help you crush your next Interview
By Alan Olsen
1) Learn about the company.
It’s important to do research on the company for which you are interviewing. Take some time to research the position, the company, the culture, and some perks/drawbacks of the job. You can often find out more about a job on the company website. There are also multiple websites with position reviews from previously employed individuals, along with potential interview questions. Read about the company and others’ experiences at the company. Current employees are a trough of information that could help you secure the job, contact any references you might have at the company leading up to the interview. It also can be very beneficial to do some research on who will be interviewing you. An interview with a manager and an interview with an associate could be drastically different experiences. Knowing just a little about your interviewer could go a long way in securing a position.
2) Always dress business professional!
When finding the appropriate attire for your next interview, make sure to dress business professional. This shows an employer how serious you are about the prospect of working with their company. Make sure your clothes are neat, clean and well fitting. When picking an outfitavoid bright, loud colors and stick to more conservative shades. Refrainfrom wearing any distracting articles of clothing, jewelry, or accessories. For men a clean-shaven face and a neat haircut are ideal, but if you are adamant about having facial hair, make sure to look presentable. Women should sport a professional hair style with minimal jewelry and make-up. As far as fragrances, stick to a mild scent or no fragrance at all. The goal when dressing for an interview is to minimize any possible distraction that could move the interviewer’s attention from you to what you are wearing. What you wear should reflectyour business demeanor. An interviewers first impression can often be a lasting one, so how one dresses can be very important.
3) Make sure to bring a copy of your resume!
When attending an interview, always make sure you bring extra copies of your resume. In the business world things are frequently lost or misplaced. Even if you provided your resume during the application process, there is no guarantee your interviewer will havea copy of your resume unless you bring one. By always providing a resume you ensure the opportunity for a more complete interview for both parties. A resume is simply a list of talking points. By not bringing a copy of your resume you run the risk of a much more challenging interview. Without a resume, the interviewee loses a very valuable tool.
4) Provide references and Letters of Recommendation
If possible, it can be a good strategy to form a list of references before you attend an interview. Generally, a background and reference check follow the interview in the hiring process. If you arrive at your interview with a list of references in hand, this can simplify things for the hiring company and can show how serious you are about the position. Make sure to ask their permission, to ensure they are willing to provide you a reference. If you really want to impress your interviewer, you can also bring letters of recommendation to your interview! A letter of recommendation is a brief piece commending an individual for their work ethic, professionalism, accomplishments, etc. You can receive letters of recommendation from previous employers, professors, important volunteering officials, church representatives and more. A letter of recommendationis a stellar opportunity to show your interviewer how qualified and hirable you are. If possible,it is suggested to bring any letters of recommendation you might have to your interview.
5) Arrive Early
Another good tip for your next interview, is to arrive early. Some business locations can be very confusing to find, and arriving late is never a good look. So, when you’re heading out for your next interview, give yourself a few extra minutes—try to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview. This also could grant you some crucial bonus interview time if an interviewer is perhaps running early. A few extra minutes could be critical in shorter length interviews. By showing up early you show your prospective employer you are willing to wait for them, and not the other way around.
6) Ask Questions
One of the most important things people frequently forget to do is ask questions. Remember, an interview is not an interrogation! You can and should ask your interviewer questions. Asking questions shows your ambition for the position. Try to keep your questions business related and steer clear of work-life balance, as these questions can raise eyebrows for employers. As an interviewee your objective is to make your interview feel like a conversation. By telling short stories and asking questions, you can lighten the mood and get more out of the interview.
7) Send a ‘Thank you’ note!
When it comes to interviews, a little extra effort goes a very long way. After your interview is complete, make sure to grab the information or business card of your interviewer and anyone else you met during your visit to the company. When you arrive home, send a thank you note to anyone you met at the company. The note can be emailed or hand written, although a handwritten note is more personal. It’s very important to put some thought and detail into the note. Try writing about something in particular you enjoyed about the interview instead of simply thanking them for their time. Decisions on potential hires can often happen very quickly, by writing a thank you note you can improve your chances at landing the job.