Updated: May 19
1: Show up to the interview 5-7 minutes early.
Give yourself more time for parking, security checks, and/or a busy business. But, only “check-in” 5-7 minutes early. Getting there too early may cause the person interviewing you to feel rushed to get to you. Some smaller companies may have the person interviewing you also checking you in. So sitting there may be somewhat awkward for both while waiting if you are too early.
2: Dress for respect and success.
Every job and company is different. It is okay to ask the person scheduling the interview for the proper dress code. It’s NEVER okay to show up in shorts, a t-shirt, and a messy bun. Dressing for an interview correctly shows respectability and trustworthiness. This doesn’t require expensive clothes. But picking the right look that commands respect in your targeted industry is critical.
3: Just be prepared.
Pen, notepad, several copies of your resume, and even questions you want to ask. Do your research on the company that you are interviewing with/for. It will show interest. Make sure your resume is clean, easy to read, and has no folds or stains. Make sure you keep your resume under two pages. Write things down from the interviewer. This will show that you value what they are bringing to you. This will also help trigger you to bring up key things they are looking for. I.E., your strengths and objectives on why you’re a great fit. Plus, this helps break up you two staring at each other. Try not to talk with your hands. It’s distracting, and some feel it comes across as not being confident. Turn phone and smartwatches on silent or completely off. There is nothing more unprofessional than having your phone and watches ringing/beeping while in an interview.
4: Use real-life examples.
Do not just talk or over talk. Keep it simple but relatable. Know what skills are better in the role you are interviewing for, and prepare those examples. That will help the interviewer clearly see how you can demonstrate your experiences and abilities. They want to make sure they put the right person into the role.
5: It’s okay to have a conversation.
It’s an interview. It’s about giving and taking!! Be prepared to talk about the company, your background, the job and role, any recent company changes, and the reason there is an opening. (I.E., expanding, retirement, understaffed for demand, etc.). Nothing is more uncomfortable than your interviewer asking a question and you just answering without being able to explain or elaborate on it. Doing so shows your preparation, intelligence, people skills, active listening, and overall commitment to yourself and your career.
A successful interview is more about how the interviewer feels about you than how well you can do the job. Yes, you still need to be qualified, BUT, remember, highly qualified people are overlooked because they didn’t project themselves as the ideal match for the job. It’s essential to show your business/professional qualifications and top set the right impression. It starts and ends with you.