Sometimes it's the simple things in life that can make a difference. You can practice the answers to your interview questions until you can say them without a pause. You can research the company so that you know everything there is to know about them. And life throws you a curve ball. As you get ready to sit down you notice your fly is open. You go to shake hands and you drop your purse on the interviewer's foot. All that great preparation flies out the door as you try to calm yourself down and relax.
These are our 10 simple tips to get you through the door and sitting down feeling comfortable, relaxed and as confident as the person in your resume says you are:
Keep your dress professional
Seems pretty basic, but you would be amazed how many people show up for interviews realizing they had forgot to pick up their shirts at the drycleaners. Pick your outfit out the night before and make sure it is:
- clean and crisp
- a suit for men
- a skirt and blouse, or basic business dress for ladies
- No sundresses or shorts
This is an interview not a date - don't overdo the makeup or wear too much jewelry. Gentlemen, do you shirt buttons up, and no gold chains hanging out. Polish or at least dust your shoes off.
No Perfume or Cologne
Have a shower, put on some deodorant, nothing else is necessary. Why? A lot of companies/businesses are "no scent" zones. Imagine what would happen if the person who is interviewing you is sensitive to scents and has a reaction to your latest Hugo Boss cologne. They’ll reschedule if you are lucky!
How do you get to the Interview
Google it, and do a test run if you aren't sure. If you are driving make sure there is parking nearby. 9am and 5pm interviews mean rush hour. Be prepared for it to take 30 minutes longer to get there. Check the weather - rain and snow can add extra time to your trip. Be prepared!
Never be late for the Interview
It goes without saying that being late for an interview starts you off on the wrong foot.
And yes, there can be extenuating circumstances, but you better be able to prove them. "The dog ate the directions" won't work in the business world. And you'd better have called to at least let the interviewer know.
Be polite to everyone
That older lady in the elevator might be "mom" going to visit her son the interviewer. You don't want her saying anything negative about pushy people in the elevator. The person blocking your way into the bathroom might be one of the interviewers. Be polite to everyone all the time. It is a good road to travel down.
Verify how to pronounce the Interviewer's name
We live in a very multicultural country, let's try our best to pronounce names properly. Ask the recruiter or phone the company. Write it down phonetically and practice.
Keep your right hand free
Your right hand is needed for shaking hands as you enter the interview. Move your portfolio, purse, or extra copies of your resume to your left hand before you enter the office.
Just before you get to the Interview
Turn off your phone and tablet.
Chemistry is a very important part of the interview
It starts as soon as you enter the room. Smile, firm handshake, and speak clearly. Relax and take part in the conversation.
Tell me about yourself
This question is totally about relaxing you. Take your elevator pitch and expand it "a bit". The Coles Notes version versus the Game of Thrones version. Keep it professional.
Don't let a little thing muck up your interview. Be prepared for every aspect of the interview process. Remember they liked your resume - you look good on paper - now is the time to shine in person.
Good luck job hunting!