The best way to get the job you want is to make a good impression at the interview. But the way to do that starts long before you ever leave home. Here are some tips to be prepared, make an outstanding impression, and get the job.
The day before the interview:
- Find out all you can about the company where you will be interviewing. Look at their website and any other information you can find online to augment what you may already know about them. You will be able to ask intelligent questions if you already have some understanding of their business.
- Think of possible questions they may ask you and plan your answers. You won’t think of all of them, but you will feel more confident about the interview if you are prepared.
- Have a short spoken resume ready of your experience and accomplishments at previous jobs. Practice this ahead of time. Many interviewers ask questions like, “Tell me about yourself”, so be ready to give a smooth, short presentation.
- Plan to look your best. Dress professionally so that you signal that you are serious about the job and meeting the company’s needs. Inquire about the dress code at the interview, and also observe how others are dressed.
- Make sure of the location of the business. Plan for travel times and be sure to arrive at least ten minutes early. Plan for the unexpected traffic
That always happens. Being late is the worst first impression you could make.
- Bring extra copies of your resume, credentials, portfolio, or other information that the company may ask to see.
The day of the interview:
- In addition to paying attention to what the interviewer is asking or telling you, pay attention to your surroundings. Notice if the office is clean, if the people seem friendly, was the receptionist pleasant, did you have to wait excessively for the interviewer. This will tell you a lot about the culture of the company and whether it’s a fit for you.
- Answer all questions smoothly and confidently because you have practiced them. Ask any questions you have thought of during the interview or previously.
- Be sure you know what comes next, such as when they will contact you again, and how they usually make contact. Let them know that you will call them if you don’t hear from them as planned. Give it a day or two, but do call back. Sometimes, it’s simply the persistent job seeker that gets noticed and a second look.
After the interview:
- As soon as possible, write down your thoughts and impressions of the interview. Did the company impress you positively? Was the interviewer adept or did they seem unsure of the qualifications for the job in question or of the company needs? How did the whole experience make you feel? What did you learn about the company or the position? A couple of days later, it can be hard to recreate the thoughts you had at the time, especially if you have had several interviews.
- Within a day, send a written thank you note to the interviewer. Going that extra distance can set you apart from the crowd and put you on the short list for a second interview or a job offer.
- Remember to make that phone call if they don’t call you as planned.
Then relax and know that you have done your best to land the job you want!