You applied for the position and nail the phone interview. Now it’s time to go in and meet your potential supervisor and maybe even the business owner. Are you ready? Do you know everything you need to know to beat out the other candidates? What’s the best way to prepare? Read on to learn how to walk into your next job interview with confidence.
Dress the part
In most cases, you’ll want to wear conservative business attire. If employees typically wear business casual attire, you may want to dress a little more formally. Many people have a neutral-colored go-to suit for interviews, and that is a great option for most situations.
The exception to this is for creative positions, or those in a more relaxed business culture. If shorts and jeans are the norm, wearing a suit shows you do not understand the culture. Dress pants and a collared shirt, however, is a good bet. Always, err to the more formal dress code, however, and ensure that your overall appearance is clean and free from wrinkles and stains. Also be sure to avoid common attire mistakes that detract from your skills and abilities.
Do your research
This cannot be said enough: Do not walk into an interview blind. Research the business. Learn everything you can about the organization, its mission and their place in the industry. Look for mentions in trade magazines, and check online resources such as Vault. Research their clientele, and the culture of the organization. Use this research to inform and shape your answers in the interview, as well as to prepare questions for your interviewer.
Avoid common mistakes
Some actions can seriously sabotage even the most qualified candidate. Some of these include:
- Not considering nonverbal communication. You’ll make a better first impression if you offer a firm handshake and smile. Also avoid slouching and annoying habits like pen clicking or foot-tapping.
- Be aware of nervous habits to ensure you do not come across as under-confident. Of course, appearing over-confident or even egotistical is also troublesome.
- Appearing unprepared. Don’t forget to bring along a few copies of your resume, and come prepared to answer the most common interview questions. Also have a list of your own questions ready to go in case you’re asked.
- Asking questions you should know the answers to after a brief search on their website or a search engine.
- Making negative comments. Never complain about your current or previous job or employer. Instead, keep it positive and take responsibility for identifying and working out any issues.
- Lying. It’s tempting to exaggerate your work history or skills in a job interview, but it’s never a good idea. Getting caught in even a slight exaggeration can lead losing your chance at landing the job.
Don’t forget to follow up
Many hiring professionals recommend that job candidates ask about the next steps in the selection process during the interview itself. While this is a great option and gives you a good idea about the timeline for hiring, a thank you note still speaks volumes. In the past, many people would sent written thank you notes, but today an email is usually customary.
It’s important to avoid going overboard with your follow-up, but sending an email to thank them for the opportunity to interview within the first 24 hours can often make the difference. Further follow ups to “touch base” about the position should be based on the timeline outlined in the interview.