You’ve prepared your resume and cover letter, detailed your references, done your networking, attended the job fairs, researched possible companies, searched the Internet for job opportunities and submitted your resume. Now, the anxious part: you’ve been called in for a job interview.
Your objective in a job interview is to gather information about a company or position, while persuading the employer that you possess the skills and experience they need. The employer’s objective is to collect relevant information about your career strengths and capabilities in order to evaluate your potential employment and/or role in carrying out their company’s mission.
Most applicants get to this part of the job search process and then face difficulty. Many applicants find it hard to get past this hurdle. To make the interview process a little less strenuous, there are some basic techniques you can use in your interview preparation.
Make a Good First Impression
- Arrive five to 10 minutes early. Never be late.
- Be organized. Bring your resume and any other necessary paperwork in a neat, clean folder or attaché. Keep all papers in order, never disheveled, tattered or torn.
- Shut off and put away your cell phone and/or headset, iPod, BlackBerry or other personal electronic devices in the waiting or reception area and keep them off throughout the interview. This is not the time to text-message, accept calls, play video games or check voice mail.
- Treat everyone you encounter, from the lobby to the interviewing area, with business-like respect and consideration, including administrative assistants and others, no matter their professional rank.
Dress for Success
- Dress appropriately. Clean, unwrinkled and matching professional business attire is a must. A good rule of thumb is to dress better for the interview than the position you are applying for.
- Wear clean, properly-fitting clothes. Avoid garments that are baggy or tight.
- Limit jewelry and flashy accessories.
- Clean and polish your shoes.
- Do not wear a baseball cap.
- Style your hair neatly.
Organize Your Materials
- Carry extra copies of your resume, preferably an expanded version.
- Bring a professional quality pen and notepad.
- Prepare a list of written questions to discuss with your interviewer.
- Bring a copy of your professional references.
- Project your best attitude and wear a warm, confident smile. IBI