Congratulations on having your resume make it to the call-back list. You have received an interview date from the employer and things are looking good so far.
Thanks to Covid and new technology, along with more remote work opportunities, your interview may occur in a variety of formats. You might have a phone interview, an in-person meeting, or virtually meet online. The kind of meeting your boss sets up will give you a chance to prepare yourself to make a solid impression.
For instance, if you have a virtual meeting coming up, it is wise to test your computer system ahead of time and ensure the speakers, etc. are working great. If you are having a phone interview, get a pad of paper and a pen handy to jot down any notes or questions that arise.
While these steps are likely unnecessary for an in-person interview, there are several ways you can prepare yourself to put your best foot forward.
If you are scheduled for an in-person interview, there are many ways you can prepare in advance to make the best first impression, since you only get one chance to make it.
How do you make sure your first impression is a positive one that will make the employer want to offer you the job? Check out the following 8 tips to help you get up to par on your etiquette for your in-person job interview.
1. Complete your Research ahead of time
Know who the main players are, the company's values, their mission, and their latest accomplishments before you attend the interview. Read the company website and use Google to research who is conducting your interview so you will be able to ask more specific questions.
The employer will be impressed that you have done your research, and this will showcase your ability to pay attention to detail. There will be fewer pauses in the conversation if you know a bit about the person interviewing you.
2. Dress Professionally
Don't wear jeans or be underdressed for your interview. Even if the culture of the company seems informal, choose a dress or a well-tailored suit to jazz it up. Pick out a few outfits to try ahead of the big day so that you have your shoes and accessories all organized and feel great in the clothes. It is not a great idea to leave anything to the last minute.
3. Note Body Language
Be aware of your body language and what it is communicating to other people. If you are trying to make a positive first impression, have excellent eye contact and a strong handshake. Your firm handshake sets the tone.
Smile to show that you are confident and relaxed. You have the skills and the attitude to take on this job and your body language needs to emulate that.
Maintain stellar posture and sit up straight while holding your head high. By offering an assured, calm approach your employer will be able to converse freely with you and see that you are ready to tackle the position.
4. Know What Questions are coming and have your Answers Ready
There are some regular interview questions that employers often ask during interviews. Knowing your answers ahead of time will help you be prepared and organized. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. Consider writing down some answers and practice stating them in the mirror so that you can build your confidence and comfort level before the interview.
- Why you would be an asset to our team if we hire you?
- What made you leave your last job?
- In 5 years from now, where do you see yourself?
- List your biggest weaknesses and strengths.
Don't be afraid to conduct some online research regarding popular interview questions. Simply type in "interview questions for the employer's name," via Glassdoor or Google and see what arises. If you find any new questions, brainstorm how you would answer them.
5. Be Punctual
It is vital to arrive on time or even 10 to 15 minutes early for your job interview. This will make a great first impression that you are eager and organized. Even if you know exactly where you are going, allow lots of travel and parking time just to be safe.
If you are traveling to unfamiliar territory, you may get stressed out at the idea of getting lost. Use Google Maps and plan your route in advance. Allow an extra half an hour in case you have issues parking or get caught in a traffic jam or have public transportation delays.
Sometimes, the building can be trickier to find, or you may have to walk a block or two from where you parked. Remember, arriving 5 minutes early gives you a few minutes to gather your composure; however, arriving 5 minutes late may blow your chances altogether.
6. Ask Some Informed Questions
It is common for the interviewer to ask you if you have any questions at the end of the interview. This offers the hiring manager a glimpse into how much you understand the position, how well you know the company, etc. Have a minimum of 5 well-thought-out questions ready just in case. Here are some great ideas:
- What types of professional development opportunities are there?
- Can you describe the culture of the company?
- What is the best part of working here?
- Can you discuss some of the largest challenges the business is currently dealing with?
- What are some of the largest successes over this past year?
These questions give you a chance to learn more about the business and your job. They also indicate to the hiring manager that you have a solid interest in the business and are looking forward to being part of the team.
7. Don't Be Distracted
It is wise to turn your cell phone off during the interview to limit any distractions. You want to be able to give your full attention to the interviewer. Having your phone beep, buzz and vibrate will be annoying and embarrassing.
8. Following Up Post Interview
After your formal interview, it is wise to send a thank you note or an email to the people who interviewed you. Even if this sounds old-fashioned, it demonstrates that you are excited to join the team and are appreciative of the time they have spent with you.