My younger sister just graduated from college and she is starting to look for jobs and go on interviews. Asking for my advice, she wants to make sure that she excels in the interview and leaves a lasting impression on the employer. I thought that this would make a great blog post because I’m sure others are in the same boat. I put a list together of what I believe to be five tips for interview success that you may not think of.
1. Show up early but not too early. It’s important to be early for an interview, but not so early that you are sitting around staring at the wall. A good best practice is to show up 10 minutes early. My previous employer always told us that it looks bad if you are more than 30 minutes early to an interview. Sit in the car for a few minutes if you are really early, but try not to arrive earlier than 10 minutes.
2. Be prepared. Do some research about the company that you are interviewing for. What is there mission, vision or values? Be prepared to somehow incorporate this into your interview. Have you looked at the job description? Make sure that you have specific examples related to the job description that you can talk about. Nothing worse than going into an interview and having no idea what the company does or stands for. Do research!
3. Dress appropriately. This is such an important tip. Make sure that your clothing represents your professionalism. Your attire will be the employer’s first impression. Make it count!
4. Bring a padfolio, copies of your resume, and pen. Coming to an interview with extra copies of your resume, paper and pen says a lot. I’ve interviewed many people who have come with none of the above. It doesn’t look good. It’s important to be engaged in the conversation and take down notes when you can. Extra copies of your resume is always good in case the employer hasn’t had a chance to print it out. This definitely happens!
5. Send a thank you email and card. This can often be overlooked but a thank you goes a long way. Within 24 hours of the interview, send a thank you email to the person/people that you met with. Thank them for the opportunity and one thing that you learned from the interview. It’s important to mention how you appreciate their time. Also, a mailed thank you card also goes a long way and differentiates yourself from the competition. Especially nowadays with email and social media, direct mail can be forgotten, but it’s not dead. A simple handwritten thank you note shows that you took the time to thank the company. Also, don’t forget to ask for a business card so you can send your thank you note!
I hope these tips help you in your journey on finding a job. Best of luck!