Congratulations! After weeks of applying for jobs like teen girls calling in to radio stations for Justin Bieber tickets, you finally got a call or email back. You should definitely be proud of yourself! The majority of employers today often have to sift through well over a hundred applications and resumes before narrowing a few down and calling you. Not only are you lucky, but that shows you did something right to grab their attention. But now that you’ve scheduled your interview, here are a few tips on preparing before you walk in.
Dress the part. Send your suit to the cleaners, iron your shirt and shine your shoes. More importantly than what you wear – keep in mind a suit is not always necessary – is how you wear it; you should be dressed immaculately. Take your time getting ready before hand and make sure your image is flawless. If you are in a position where you are leaving mid day from your current job to go on an interview, be sure to make time to ensure you have a proper change of clothes or the time to spruce up your current appearance. You can consult the Gilt Manual for more advice on dress. How to Dress for a Job Interview
Speaking of taking time from a work day, that’s a whole ‘nother issue. Avoid leaving mid day from your current job to interview for another as much as humanly possible, it’s almost as tough as juggling two girlfriends/boyfriends, not that I would know. But if you truly must, be sure you take your time to plan the day. Create a flexible excuse such as dentist appointment, picking a loved one up from the airport, taking the dog to the vet, etc. Notice that all of these excuses can easily break any time constraint previously set. If you tell your boss that you have to step out because you have to a visit a client or you’re going to lunch, there then becomes a good chance that you’ll get in trouble if it goes long. By saying that you are picking your parents up from the airport, you can pick a phony flight and say that the airport was jammed so it took an extra 30 minutes. I can promise you, your boss won’t call your folks to ask about their trip, and if they do, they’ll most likely make up a story for you. If an employer is showing honest interest in you, they’ll usually accommodate your busy schedule.
Now that we’re talking about time, be sure to show up on time! My personal mantra is ” If I’m early, I’m on time; if I’m on time, I’m late. No future employer will disregard your tardiness to your interview. It’s far worse than showing up late to your first day of work. So all that hope and excitement you had when you got the call in the first place will be lost simply because you wanted to play one more round of Call of Duty before you left.
Come prepared. As I mentioned earlier, employers will look though over a hundred resumes before selecting yours, so it’s a good idea to bring copies to the interview. While the employer knows why they called you in for that meeting, it’s in your best interest to hammer it home as to why you’re the person for the job; it also shows that you’re prepared and organized.
Of course there are plenty of other things to focus on once you’re actually in the interview, but we’ll concentrate on that in a later post. Remember, you were chosen for an interview out of possibly hundreds of applicants. It’s now your responsibility to keep that momentum moving, so hopefully you can take my advice to snag yourself a second interview, if not the job. Good luck!