I recently have gotten some great feedback on the material we’ve been producing on this site. Thank you! I also have received feedback on posting more interviewing advice. The interview is an important opportunity and is the only thing between you and the job. The good news is, they liked your resume and your experiences enough to call you in for an interview. The bad news is, you’re not done!
The interview is coming up and you feel pretty good about how you’ve prepared. You are all set with the answers to any question they can possibly ask, you have some of your own questions for them, but now you ask yourself…what do I bring to the interview? These are some ideas and suggestions that will compliment your preparation on the “big day.” Don’t leave home without them.
Stock the Briefcase
- Resume and References– The most important part of these two pieces of paper, is not the content (yes it is important) but the presentation. The interview is all about impression and personality. They already have your resume, but if you pull it out of the briefcase confidently, professionally (not stiff), and neatly, it will give off a great impression. I suggest you buy yourself a bi-folio where you can keep these documents wrinkle free. Black preferably since it appears business like and to both men and women. Keeping things clean and organized will not only show the interviewers you are well prepared, but you are showing them respect.
- Notepad and Paper– Taking a few notes during the interview shows you are engaged in the interview. Make them feel you are being an active listener. However, don’t stare at your notepad the whole time because it’ll have the reverse effect.
- Business Card– People take in information three different ways. They are either auditory, verbal or kinesthetic (touch). The more you give them to touch and read the more they will retain the information you tell them. It’s just like when you were in the classroom, you had the teachers that only spoke to you, the one that presented a power point, or the one that showed movies. I liked the movies personally. The point is, cater to the interviewers in multiple ways.
- Directions– Always have directions the day of. Ideally, you should make the drive the day before and see how long it takes. Try it at the same time you would have your interview (this gauges traffic). Having directions will lower anxiety the day of the interview.
- Cell Phone with Interviewers Number– This is primarily for the drive. If you are running late or for some reason something happens, call the interviewers. At least this way they know you are not slapping them in the face intentionally. You never want to be late, but be considerate with a phone call if you are. If your car is having issues or you get lost, call. After you call them, call a taxi to take you to the interview. Don’t worry about the car, it’ll be there after the interview. Once you get to the interview, make sure you TURN THE CELL PHONE OFF! I can’t tell you how many phones I hear at interviews. It puts you on my you know what list.
- A Smile– This nonverbal cue is an immediate rapport builder. Keep in mind, interviewers are nervous too. Instinctly, a smile immediately tells a person you’re not going to hurt them. Not that you or the interviewers have anything to fear, it’s just a natural reaction to first encounters.
- Manners– There is no time to show more respect than in your interview. Introduce yourself with a firm handshake and say “it’s a pleasure to meet you” after. Let your interviewers sit first or wait for them to give you permission to sit.
Hopefully, these tips have shed some light on “game day.” If there is anything you got from this piece, I hope it is awareness at what the day may look like and the possible things you may consider doing.
Rich Dad Says: “Preparedness is a sign of respect.”
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