Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that can make a difference. You can practice the answers to your interview questions until you can say them without a pause. You can research the company so that you know everything there is to know about them. And life throws you a curve ball. As you get ready to sit down you notice your fly is open. You go to shake hands and you drop your purse on the interviewer’s foot. All that great preparation flies out the door as your try to calm yourself down and relax.
These are my 10 simple tips to get you through the door and sitting down feeling comfortable, relaxed and as confident as the person in your resume says you are:
Keep your dress professional – seems pretty basic but you would be amazed how many people show up for interviews realizing they had forgot to pick up their shirts at the cleaners. Look your outfit out the night before and make sure it is:
- clean and crisp
- a suit for the guys and a skirt and blouse or basic business dress for the gals. No sundresses or shorts
- This is an interview not a date – don’t overdo the makeup or wear too much jewelry. Guys shirt buttons done up, no gold chains hanging out.
- Polish or at least dust your shoes off.
No Perfume or Cologne – have a shower, put on some deodorant, nothing else is necessary, why?:
- A lot of companies/businesses are “no scent” zones.
- Imagine what would happen if the person who is interviewing you is sensitive to scents and has a reaction to your latest Hugo Boss cologne. Reschedule if you are lucky.
How do you get to the Interview
- Google it, do a test run if you aren’t sure
- If you are driving make sure there is parking nearby
- 9 am and 5 pm interviews mean rush hour. Be prepared for it taking 30 minutes longer to get there
- Check the weather – rain and snow can add extra time to your trip. Be prepared
Never be late for the Interview
- It goes without saying that being late for an interview starts you off on the wrong foot.
- And yes there can be extenuating circumstances, but you better be able to prove them. “The dog ate the directions” won’t work in the business world.
- And yes, you’d better have called to at least let the interviewer know.
Be Polite to everyone
- That older lady in the elevator might be “mom” going to visit her son the interviewer. You don’t want her saying anything negative about pushy people in the elevator.
- The person blocking your way into the bathroom might be one of the interviewers.
- Be polite to everyone all the time. It is a good road to travel down.
Verify how to pronounce the Interviewer’s name
- We live in a very multicultural country, let’s try our best to pronounce names properly.
- Ask the recruiter or phone the company
- Write it down phonetically and practice
Keep your right hand free
- Your right hand is needed for shaking hands as you enter the interview
- Move your portfolio, purse, extra copies of your resume to your left hand before you enter the office
Just before you get to the Interview
- Turn off your phone and tablet.
Chemistry is a very important part of the interview
- It starts as soon as you enter the room.
- Smile, firm handshake, speak clearly
- Relax and take part in the conversation
Tell me about yourself
- This question is totally about relaxing you. Take your elevator pitch and expand it “a bit”. The Coles Notes version versus the Game of Thrones.
- Keep it professional.
Check out my slideshare for some more pointers on these tips.
Don’t let a little thing muck up your interview. Be prepared for every aspect of the interview process. Remember they liked your resume – you look good on paper – now is the time to shine in person.
Good luck job hunting
Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment. Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!