When the news first breaks that you’ve earned yourself an in-person interview, the brief feeling of excitement is usually overshadowed by the stress of having to prep for the big day. Gearing up for an interview is a time consuming yet necessary task that all hopeful job hunters should put into practice. If you’re wondering where to begin as you prepare for your interviewer’s questions, including the overall employer exchange, take into account these simple dos and don’ts below.
Do: Your research
Perhaps the most important piece of advice any hopeful job seeker can take is to do the research. If you’ve been hunting for a job for a lengthy period of time, it’s easy to form a habit of rapidly applying more while reading job descriptions less. Though there is nothing wrong with putting yourself out there to as many places as possible, this method does lack the research period necessary for knowing if a job is the right fit for you. It’s crucial to learn as much as you can about the position you applied for and the company as a whole before you walk through the door. Study the business’s core values and the main functions of the role you’d be taking on. It doesn’t hurt to even do some general research on what skills employers are looking for overall in their candidates. Use what you learn to your advantage by relating your previous job experiences directly to the functions of the position, this will help your interviewer envision you in the role you’re applying for.
Don’t: Come without questions
Candidates who come with questions appear more interested and more prepared than those who don’t. Having questions prepared is the perfect way to let your interviewer know that you care about who you work for. Having no questions to ask implies that the job itself is just a job, as opposed to an opportunity that you genuinely are interested in. While you don’t need to have an excessive list of queries to show you care, it’s important to always have at least 1 or 2 insightful items to ask as your interview wraps up.
Do: Spend time on your look
While looks aren’t everything, having the right professional attire for the environment you interview in is a must. There are few things that impact a first impression more than the way you physically present yourself. Be mindful of your modesty, and how casual you might appear. If you have a staple interview outfit you regularly use, be sure it fits with the culture of the new company you’re hopeful to be working for. Sometimes purchasing a brand new look for the big day is the perfect boost of confidence you need to help you feel prepared. Take the time to find professional outfit pieces you know will help you stand out. You don’t always have to spend beyond your means to look professional, especially if you search for deals or even shop secondhand. Both in person and online at e-thrift stores like thredUP are great places to find either vintage or name brand pieces for your outfit. If you’re someone who finds themselves extra nervous about their look, try out a more comfortable style with a professional Lularoe dress. Stay away from form fitting, coarse fabrics as these will only add to your discomfort. Be sure you settle on a style that reflects who you are, and how much you care about the interview as a whole.
Don’t: Be too early or too late
It’s a little known fact that your arrival time to your interview can mean a great deal. It goes without saying that arriving late to an interview is almost always a bad look, so be on time. However, being too early can be seen as almost just as much of a mistake. A good rule of thumb is to get to your location no more and no less than ten minutes before the start of the interview. Always take into account extra factors such as parking and traffic, especially if your interview location is in the middle of a larger city. If you’re worried about the navigation process slowing you down, block off a time before your meeting to scope out the area in order to get an understanding of exactly where you’ll need to go on the day of your interview. Placing value on your timing will be something you’ll never regret.
Do: Set yourself apart
Last but not least, make an effort to set yourself apart from other candidates. From leaving a thank you note at the end of the process, to engaging in conversation with more than one person in the office, it’s the little things that will help you create the biggest impact. Make an attempt to be off your phone from the moment you enter the door. While it might be tempting to shoot out a text or two as you sit in the office foyer, remaining off your phone will undoubtedly make you stand out from other interviewees. Remember that every interaction matters, from the doorman to the CEO, try to treat every employee the same. These intentional yet subtle actions will improve your chances in the long run, and help your overall interview skills for the future.
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