5 Must Do's for Your BIG Interview
Here a 5 quick tips on how to better position yourself to win the job you are after! Over the years of recruiting we have seen our fair share of Do's and Don'ts when it comes to showing up for an interview. Some of this stuff you would think to be self evident...well to many it isn't...and unfortunately for them...no matter how qualified they are can destroy all hopes of landing that opportunity with one deadly misstep. Hopefully these pointers will help any candidates reading this to avoid some landmines; and if you are a hiring manager, maybe spotting some of these best practices will start yielding you better results out of your hiring decisions. Enjoy!
1. Suit up!
You can never be over-dressed, but you most certainly, and many have been...severely...completely and utterly under-dressed. You could be the most qualified person for the role and be digging yourself out of a hole the second the hiring manager spots you. I find this to be common sense but you have no idea how
many candidates have literally underwhelmed the hiring manager with their appearance. I mean how excited or motivated are you for this opportunity if you're going to show up in your ripped jeans and a Metallica Tee Shirt...yes...this actually happened once! My best advice if you're not sure what you should wear is to suit up for the men and business professional attire for the women. This will demonstrate how serious you are taking this opportunity, even if it is more than what will be required for you to wear for the day to day role. Have your shirts, skirts, slacks pressed or dry-cleaned and for the love of God please don't show up with a shirt collar that resembles bacon strips, you'll thank me later!
2. Show Up On Time
If the interview is at 10am EST....Show up at 9:45am EST ready to go...latest...Honestly, I don't care if you get a flat tire or your house burned down, you have to give yourself enough "buffer" time to arrive at a respectful time. If you can't make
the interview on time how is the hiring manager supposed to trust you to show up to the office on time? Meetings on time? They can't. As far as i'm concerned you're done before things even got started. Get a watch.That's all I really have to say about that.
3. Bring a "Brag Book" This might be one of the most important tips I can give to those of you who have figured out how to button a dress shirt and tell time. Now is your time to shine, if your resume says you did this, won that, sold this much...you better be able to back it up. Anyone can write things on a resume...if you can't produce a scratch of evidence about what you said you did on your resume then that is a big red flag. If you haven't already begun compiling your "Wins" then start now! Get a binder, take pictures of trophies, letters of recognition or a job well done, stats, and innovations...anything that you can essentially brag about from a character stand point as well as a professional accomplishment stand point needs to go into this sacred document. Now is not the time to be overly-modest, not when you're in the fight for your life to get that job that is going to help you and your family! I can tell you from first hand experience, hiring managers absolutely love brag books! I mean if the interview pool was a tight race and one of these candidates (you) show up with documentation and prepared to speak and provide evidence to their accomplishments it's over. You win...and that is what you are there to do, so show them what you've got! Literally.
4. Have Done Your Research
This is the silent deal killer. This one is likely the one that costs talented, qualified and ideal candidates the job...worst part is...they don't know why...unless they have a recruiter in their corner who can gather feedback for them...One of the worst feedback comments a recruiter can hear from a hiring manger..."She didn't ask me a single question." Game over.
In the age of information, literally at our finger tips, there is no reason to know nothing or little about the opportunity you are interviewing for. All companies have a website, I mean your mom has a website for her side bakery business for goodness sake! It's important you can speak to the size of the company, their specializations, accomplishments and recent news.
In addition to briefing yourself on their website write down some questions you may have in regards to what you discovered on the website Ex: "I see you just opened a second location in New York City, what was the reason for choosing that city?" It would also be an ideal time to ask some specific questions you have about the day to day and the expectations of the role. Have these questions prepared in advance with a notepad and pen in hand, this will show you have some foresight.
Remember an interview is a two-way conversation, if you find yourself sitting there listening intently speak up! It might just land you the job.
5. Follow Up/Thank You E-mail
Last but not least...what to do in the next 24hrs following the interview. Whatever you do, don't do nothing. A great way to add an exclamation point to your showing is to send a thank you e-mail. It should look something like this: [Hiring Manager's Name], I wanted to thank you again for the opportunity to interview for the position of [name of role] today. After meeting you and the team and getting some questions answered I am more than certain that I am the right person for the job! I look forward to hearing back from you, if you have any questions in the meantime don't hesitate to ask. Kindly, [The Applicant]
You should send this note at the end of business same day or first thing bright and early to following day, I'd say no later than 7am, it will leave a good impression. If you haven't heard from them in the expected amount of time that they would get back to you it doesn't hurt to send an additional follow up e-mail or phone call. It's important to demonstrate through the entire process that you are hungry for it. I hope these 5 tips have given you some ideas or new strategies when it comes to your next interview opportunity. Wishing all of you the best of luck in your next venture.