This is not the usual list of things to say once you have an interview. Instead we give you seven tips for tipping the scale in your favor so your next interview can be your last.
Successful Interview Tips
Tip #1 Ask for directions
On the day of the interview, you arrive 10 minutes early but only to learn that the manager works out of a satellite office located 30 miles away. Always ask for the location of the interview and then get directions before your interview day.
Tip #2 Take your resume with you
The employer’s briefcase was left at home, the receptionist is out sick, the personnel department is out to lunch — all of these reasons and more are why you should always carry your resume with you. Even if the employer doesn’t need an extra copy, it can be helpful for you to have a copy of your resume on hand for reference especially if you’ve created more than one resume when applying for different kinds of jobs.
Tip #3 Bring a portfolio
Having a few reports or copies of project summaries or published articles will help an employer not only to gauge the quality of your work but also shows that you have come to the interview with more than a casual interest in the work to be done.
Tip #4 Greet the receptionist
Your biggest ally is often the person who sits in the front office. The receptionist or administrative assistant is often asked or will volunteer opinions to hiring managers. Follow the advice of Mom and extend simple courtesies to everyone you meet.
Tip #5 Have your reference list handy
Carry a list of your references with you for the interview. Keep this item along with your resume and any other materials in a folder so that all items are clean and unseen.
Tip #6 Dress according to the setting in which you’ll be working
Wild ties with cartoon characters are best left at home. Long sleeve shirts for men with ties and jackets. Dresses or skirts with an accompanying jacket are appropriate for women.
Tip #7 Shut off the cell phone
Take the time to turn your phone off in order to avoid having the best moment of your interview interrupted.
Some good common sense, a dose of etiquette and forethought will help you achieve interview success.
Advice for Successful Interviewing
First Impressions Count
If you think your resume is going to land you a job, think again. You might be applying for a job but the reality is that you’re going to be working within some type of a company with their own culture and peculiarities.
When going on a job interview, it might be helpful to consider this first meeting to be something akin to the first meeting of your potential new in-laws. Here are five ways to make a great first impression on any interviewer or interview team.
Extend a hand
Reach out for that handshake. If it’s a group interview, shake everyone’s hand if possible. Practice your handshake skills with a good, honest friend. Work on looking at the “interviewer” directly in the eye and smiling as you offer a greeting.
Learn and use names
It’s said the most beautiful sound is the sound of our own name. Try to use the interviewer’s name at least three times during the interview. Use the appropriate title of Mr. or Ms. (or Doctor) unless invited to do otherwise. If it’s a group interview, try to use at least two names of those present in addition to the primary interviewer.
Don’t feel compelled to talk constantly. Let the interviewer bring up topics and when questions arise, allow enough time for a thoughtful pause. You’ll be surprised how often an interviewer will rush to fill the quiet space sometimes even answering the question for you.
Ask intelligent questions
Don’t forget that as much as you want a job that your employer wants someone and some way to get the job done. Ask a question about the employer’s needs. For example, you might ask questions like these: What do you believe will be the most pressing needs of this company in the next year? What are the major issues facing this department and how might my skills be best used?
Always say “thank you”
It can’t hurt to apply the Rule of Thanks Times Three. What is the three time rule? Say “thank you” three times – in the beginning, middle, and end of your interview. Your thanks might be expressed as follows: Thank you for the chance to speak with you in person about this position. I appreciate having a chance to learn more about your company. Thank you for your time and I hope to be hearing from you.
It’s true that first impressions count so make sure you put your best foot forward. And remember an interview is not only a time for an employer to interview you but also a time when you can learn more about a company where you might become the next new “member of the family”.