Congratulations! After hours creating resumes recruiters want to read, you have landed an interview with a company in which you could really see yourself flourishing. This is a situation many dream of and some never find. Once you shake the pre-interview jitters no one is immune to, here is exactly how you leave the best impression on your potential new employer with your awesome interview skills.
You Ask/Know the Dress Code
In some cases, job seekers have intel via a contact already employed by the company or a well-established idea of the type of environment and culture the organization promotes, but if not, just ask. How you dress to an interview shows how well you know the company, how you respect a professional situation and how you will fit in with the team. It’s just better to be sure you have the right impression, even if it means point blank asking the recruiter. Remember to dress one step up from the everyday attire of employees.
How to ask: “I want to be dressed appropriately. Can you tell me your dress code?”
Dressed to kill? Apologize for your over or under dress then move on to job skills and experience.How you dress to an interview shows how well you know the company. #InterviewTips Click To Tweet
You’re 10 Minutes Early
Being too late to an interview is just about the best way to count yourself out of getting the job. The truth can be said for the exact opposite as well. It is to be between 10 to 15 minutes early which allows for any unforeseen traffic troubles, security clearances or whatever else might slow your arrival. Any earlier may leave the interviewer feeling antsy about your lobby wait time.
Too early? Apologize to whoever you speak with first (receptionist or otherwise) and explain you wanted to be sure you had plenty of time to find the right place and are happy to wait until closer to the scheduled time.
Going to be even a minute late? Before you even get there, reach out to your contact via phone or email (pull over if you are driving!), apologize for the inconvenience, explain the approximate delay time and ask if they can still see you if you arrive XX minutes late.Being too late to an interview is just about the best way to count yourself out of getting the job. Click To Tweet
You Bring Resumes
Bringing 3 to 4 copies of your interview winning resume shows initiative and your savvy for preparedness. Most interviewers will have your information, but if they don’t, you do. They may introduce you to other people within the office as well, so having additional copies allows for your rubbing elbow sessions to be real networking opportunities.
Forgot the resume? Consider carrying business cards or creating a resume website to counter a forgetful mind. All this takes pre-planning though so remember, it’s not all about the resume and shine with the next four….
You Make Small Talk with those who Greet You
Whether it be a random employee holding the elevator door or the receptionist you sit within the lobby, if small talk is available, oblige! Sure, the interview is with someone else, but the impression you make begins the moment you enter the company’s campus and others will notice.
Small talk not your thing? Introduce yourself with a smile and be sure to say thank you when you leave. Just be courteous and amiable.
Too talkative? Pay attention to social cues; your time there may end with the interview but their workday is ongoing, be courteous. Your name, a quick hello and one statement about the weather, your interview or traffic will suffice.
You Know Why You Want the Job
…and it isn’t the paycheck. Even if the motivators are bills and student loans, a great interviewee can name at least three great characteristics of a company they have an interest in being a part of. Research culture, philanthropies, social presence or Glassdoor for fuel but the truth probably stems from why you applied in the first place.
Didn’t think this one through? Be observant of the office and atmosphere. Chances are, you will see clues to community involvement, company values, product users you identify with or even just how the environment makes you feel productive. Flyers in the break room, community awards and office areas set up for specific activities are all clues to corporate values.
You Follow Up with a Note
Top-notch job candidates grab the name of their interviewer and note the office’s address, then send a handwritten thank you note, touching on specifics of the interview so the hiring team knows exactly who sent the gesture. Great applicants send, at the very least, a personal yet professional email.
Forgot to grab a name? Forgetting someone’s name happens to the best of us. Thankfully, you have access to LinkedIn, company websites or any other public profile that can help jog your memory.
Don’t overdo it. There are very few situations where a handwritten note or any kind of package are a good idea.
Job interviews vary based on the company, the culture of the organization and even the company’s need for a hire. Luckily, the above approaches are easily customizable to suit any situation.