Authored by Niki Demetropoulos, special correspondent to Davron, LLC.
1. Research, Research, Research.
Research information about the company and the person or people who will be interviewing you. It’s always good to have as much knowledge as possible. It shows that you took the time to learn more about them, and have genuine interest in their firm.
Research difficult interview questions online. Prepare and practice your answers. This will boost your confidence and your responses will flow naturally.
2. Be well-rested.
Get a good night’s sleep the night before. You want to be well-rested so that your mind will be sharp.
3. Make sure you know where you’re going.
Know in advance, the exact location of where the interview will be taking place. If you do not know exactly where, or how long it will take you to get there, do a practice run.
4. Dress accordingly.
Even if the job entails a casual dress code, it is rarely appropriate to “dress down” for an interview. Be professional with your outfit and keep your overall appearance neat and clean. A polished appearance evokes confidence and reliability. Check out our article How to Dress for a Job Interview.
5. Be hygienic.
Good personal hygiene is just as important as what you wear. You may select the right clothes, but neglecting your personal hygiene can ruin the image you wish to present. Brush your teeth, use mouth wash, comb your hair and apply deodorant.
6. Arrive early.
Being late to an interview not only sends a message that you’re not serious about the opportunity, but can also shake your nerves up. Arriving 5-10 minutes before the interview is acceptable, but arriving too early may send the wrong message. The staff may feel pressured to entertain you, or they may be wrapping up other meetings.
7. Greet your interviewer.
Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake, thank them for meeting with you, and make eye contact. Remember their name and how to pronounce it.
8. Be aware of your body language.
Use good posture. Sitting up straight in your seat will make you happier and feel more confident. Relax and lean-in slightly towards your interviewer. Make eye contact. Your body language should convey a message that you are interested and engaged.
9. Be thorough, but brief.
When responding to questions, be thorough but brief. Give examples of previous experiences, but try not to ramble. You want to give concise and direct responses, which will help the interviewer to feel confidence in your answers.
10. Ask questions.
Bring a list of questions with you. Inquire about the firm and the responsibilities of the role. This shows enthusiasm and interest in the job.
11. Send a Thank You.
Always, send a thank you email or mail a card to the interviewer. This shows respect and appreciation for their time. Reminding them of topics in your discussion will also help you stand out from the crowd.
1. Be stinky.
Don’t smoke, drink or wear heavy perfume/cologne before the interview. Even if you think it’s pleasant a scent, you don’t want to be associated with an odor when the interviewer thinks about you later.
2. Leave your phone on.
Don’t leave your phone on during an interview. Turn it to silent. Better yet, turn off the vibration. The disruption will shift your focus and take you off your game. If you forget and it rings on accident, do not answer it, apologize and silence it immediately.
3. Slouch in your seat or fidget.
Body language is important. Slouching into your seat can send a message that you’re too relaxed and aren’t enthusiastic. Fidgeting, such as tapping your feet or shaking your leg, will give the interviewer the impression that you’re not confident or prepared. They may feel that their questions are making you nervous. It’s also distracting, and they may miss an important detail in your well-crafted responses.
4. Answer questions partially.
Respond with a qualified answer. Give examples, explain your skills and give details. The interviewer needs some way of connecting your experience to the question. They want to feel like they know you better than they did when they read your resume.
5. Discuss inappropriate conversation topics.
Don’t tell jokes during the interview, use offensive language or slang words. Keep your personal problems to yourself. Avoid controversial topics such as religion, politics and gender relations. If those topics come up, keep your response neutral.
6. Bad-mouth your previous employers or co-workers.
Why? Simply put, it raises too many questions and leaves a negative impression. The interviewer may even feel like you may have been part of the problem. Check out our article Never Badmouth an Employer During a Job Interview for more on this topic.
7. Ask about salary or other benefits unless specifically asked.
You don’t want to make it look like that’s your only concern. There’s always time to discuss salary, vacation time, and other benefit policies later. Focus on making an impression. You want to show the interviewer that you care about the company and what you can contribute to their team.
8. Bring a tag-along.
Don’t take another person with you. You want to show that you can do this on your own and don’t need anyone else to back you up. Bringing another person can also be distracting, and the interviewer may question if you can separate work from your personal life.
9. Freak out if you don’t know the answer to a question.
Stay calm and don’t say “I don’t know” or make stuff up. If you don’t know the answer, tell the interviewer the steps you would take to figure out the problem. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to help you formulate an answer.
10. Assume you’ve got the job.
Candidates often try to read into clues from the interview to gauge they likelihood they’ll land the job. The company is probably talking to multiple candidates, just as qualified as you. It’s arrogant to make assumptions about your standing, and there’s so much more than qualifications that are taken into consideration. Above all, they want to know you’ll be a good fit with their team.