In a very competitive job market, you’ve applied to your dream job and your resume has made it to the top of the pile. Congratulations! You’ve been confirmed for an in-person interview! Now what?
Here are a few in-person interview do’s and don’ts:
Do Prepare: Familiarize yourself with the interview location and plan your route. Print and take several copies of your resume. Research the company and prepare at least 3 questions for the interviewer.
Do Be On Time: As the old saying goes, “If you’re on time, you’re late”. Arriving 10-15 minutes early for an in-person interview is customary and will allow you to review your notes, use the restroom, and calm those last minute jitters.
Do Dress for success: The in-person interview is not the time to show how creative you can be with your personal style. Wearing business attire and limiting your application of excessive make-up, colognes, and perfumes is a much better option.
Do Give the Proper Hello: Make eye contact while giving a firm handshake.
Do Stay Focused: Listen to the questions being asked of you and answer honestly and concisely. Ask for clarification if needed and avoid going off topic.
Do Take Notes: No matter how good you think your memory is, taking notes makes a statement that you are engaged and serious about the opportunity.
Do Know What’s Next: Affirm your interest in the position and make sure you understand the employer’s next step in the hiring process.
Do Show Appreciation: Write individual thank you notes to each interviewer promptly and after every interview.
In addition to doing the right things, it is equally important to avoid common errors that can derail your interview.
Don’t Be Late: Proper planning prevents poor performance. Plan your trip with the worst case scenario in mind, and if the unavoidable occurs and you are unable to make the scheduled in-person interview time, call the interviewer prior to that time to reschedule.
Don’t Talk Too Much: Be intentional in your talking points. Avoid rambling and the excessive use of filler words such as “uh” and “um” and never curse no matter how comfortable the interviewer makes you feel.
Don’t Badmouth Past Employers or Employees: It’s a small world and you never know who the interviewer knows. Avoid initiating or engaging in those tempting verbal bashing sessions.
Don’t Be Dishonest: Be honest in your answers to questions and do not falsify your resume or other application materials.
Don’t Get Distracted: You are there to show them why you are the right candidate with the right skills, keep your eye on the prize and avoid chewing gum, texting, doodling, or anything else that will distract you from being offered the position.
Implementing these actions may not guarantee you the job, however it will highly increase your ability to stand out among the competition and warrant a call back!