Going in for a job interview is never an easy endeavour, but the main thing to keep in mind is that they went through a whole bunch of resumes and yours made the cut! The work of getting a job is already half done because your foot is in the door.
1. Dress appropriately
You’d be surprised at how many people flop on this one. There’s no need to go out and buy an expensive suit and designer shoes to look good, but there are some basic minimums you need to follow.
First, you need to know if the company is casual or formal. If the company you are applying to is formal, then you need to wear a proper suit.
However if the company you are applying to is more casual, then business casual, or something like a button-up shirt with trousers without a suit jacket is fine. Anything more formal and they might wonder if you’re trying to overcompensate for something.
Second, you need to make sure your clothes are clean and pressed. Don’t think you’re going to wake up in the morning and iron your items then, do it the night before so that its one less stressor you have to deal with in the morning. Besides, you may oversleep your alarm clock and not have time to iron your clothes let alone take a shower before running out the door.
2. Prep the night before
Take a shower the night before your interview because going in with wet hair, and being hastily dressed because you overslept is not an option.
While you’re at it, lay out what you are going to wear, pack your purse or bag with your keys, a copy of your resume, a lint brush, some mints, tissue paper and anything you think you might need for the day. You don’t want to be frantically hunting around the home for a lint brush in the morning because your fluffy white cat decided to rub up against your suit before you went out the door.
3. Do some research on the company and the position
Know the company, its mission statement and what it stands for by visiting the company website, then take the time to read up on some recent news about the company and what kind of issues it might be facing so that you can intelligently carry on a conversation about the topic if need be.
As for the position, don’t assume that you know what it entails. Take the time to go online and do some research on what the job entails, and for each task being listed on the job description, take the time to craft an answer or find something about yourself that fits that description. You don’t want to be fumbling for answers in the middle of an interview.
4. Don’t be late
I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’ll do it anyway. DO NOT BE LATE. Be 10 minutes early. If you are someone who is constantly late and can’t make it anywhere on time to save your life, leave half an hour earlier than you would.
If you get there too early, don’t go in. Hang around in a coffee shop and calm your nerves with a cup of joe (this is why you need the mints), and go in no earlier than 15 minutes early.
5. Follow-up and thank the interviewer but don’t be a nag
Always smile and thank the interviewer before you leave the premises, and don’t forget to send a follow-up email. Please note that I wrote “a follow-up email”, not “multiple follow-up emails”. If you are chosen for the position, they will let you know.
If you happen to be on a deadline and have offers from other companies (lucky you!), but really want to work for a company who has not replied yet, then you are allowed to reach out a second time and tentatively ask if they are planning on a reaching a decision soon because you have to make a decision on where to work and you’d very much like to work for them.
Just don’t be a nag and email them every day, every hour, asking for updates on how it is going. They may just get so annoyed that they’ll chuck your resume in the bin.