Whether you are entering the workforce for the first time or simply seeking to make a career change, it’s important to be prepared and knowledgeable about the interviewing process. Listed below are five interviewing tips which could help you successfully land your next job.
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Map out the directions to the location at which you will be interviewing. Always allow for adequate driving time, as accidents and other unforeseen issues may arise. As a general rule, you should allow for a minimum of an additional 30 minutes of driving time to ensure you are punctual; however, do not arrive for the interview until 15 minutes prior.
Have several copies of your resume available and samples of your work – you never know how many people you may be meeting with. It is recommended that you place them in a folder or portfolio in order to keep the copies crisp and clean.
Wear appropriate attire to the interview. Appropriate attire for ladies can be a suit, jacket and slacks or dress; gentleman should wear a suit. You want to avoid wearing busy patterns and strive for a conservative look, such as items which are navy or black, so your appearance is professional.
Research the company you will be interviewing with in advance. The internet can be a good source of information—visit the company’s Web site or “google” the company’s name. Become familiar with the products and services that they offer as well as the history of the organization. It’s important to know not only where the company has been but where they are going!
Compile a list of questions you’d like to ask the interviewer, if given the opportunity. Questions you may want to ask include, “How would you describe the culture/environment at this organization?” or “What is necessary in order to be successful in this role?” Avoid questions relating to salary or how you did on the interview.
In closing, being prepared will allow you to focus on the interview and communicate to the interviewer how you can make a contribution to the organization. It’s also important to note that while preparation is key, it’s equally as important to follow up with a thank-you note or e-mail to the interviewer. Doing so you’ll stand out and the interviewer will know you are interested in the position as a career opportunity and not just a job.