Plan for the Interview
Plan for your interview several days ahead of time. Make sure you know where the company is located and where to park. Make any necessary arrangements such as time off from work, childcare, or transportation. Drive the route to the interview site (take into consideration traffic during the time period of your interview, along with road construction and detours) before the day of your interview to ensure that you’ll arrive 10 to 20 minutes early.
Put Together an Interview Toolkit
Your interview “toolkit” should have copies of all information that you have submitted to the employer; a master application if you have not previously filled out an application for the employer; copies of your resume; copies of transcripts, letters of recommendation, your reference list, and a notepad and pen. Organize everything in a light briefcase or portfolio.
Dress for the Job You Want
You want to present yourself for the job you want. Carefully select the clothes you wear to your interview, and make sure they are clean and pressed. Shine your shoes.
Do Your Homework
Find out as much as you can about the company and the position before the interview. This will give you an edge when answering their questions and forming questions of your own.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Make sure you get a restful night’s sleep the day before the interview. Yawning during an interview is never good.
Be Punctual and Friendly
Arrive 10 minutes early and be friendly to everyone you meet. Co-workers will often share their impressions with the person conducting the interview. Clean out your vehicle before you go to your interview – employers often check out what the inside of your vehicle looks like to see how clean (or sloppy) you are.
Have a Warm Greeting
Greet the interviewer with a warm smile and firm handshake, and call them by their name. Use “Mister” or “Ms.” and their last name, unless they ask you to use their first name.
Answer Questions Truthfully
Answer the interviewer’s questions truthfully. It’s ok to think before answering and to ask for clarification if you do not understand the question.
Use Negatives for Opportunities
If something negative in your work history comes up, use it as an opportunity to demonstrate that you have learned from the experience. Explain what you have done or will do to make sure you don’t repeat your mistakes.
Above all else, keep a positive, upbeat attitude throughout the interview. Employers often hire for attitude and train for skills. Be sure to thank the interviewer for the opportunity and shake hands before leaving. If you still want the job when your interview is finished, you must ask for the job. For example, ask the interviewer for permission to contact them in a week to see if a decision has been made. Also, you should send the interviewer a “thank you” note to thank them for their time, reiterate your top-selling points, and to ask for the job again.