We understand most people would prefer to go to the dentist rather than to an interview. To help prepare you so your interview goes smoothly, here are a few tips to calm your nerves:
- Take a “dry run.” Drive to the interview site the day before at the same time as your scheduled interview so you can check for possible delays, construction, school zones, etc.
- Check out the company’s website. Plan 3 questions to ask about the company. The employer will be impressed that you did your homework and it shows a genuine interest in what they do.
- Dress appropriately. It is always preferable to be the best dressed in the room rather than the worst. Has that sport jacket been in the closet for a while? Dust off the shoulders and make sure it is not in need of cleaning. Don’t wait until the day of your interview to prep your interview attire. Women should “think conservative” and not show too much skin. A miniskirt is never interview attire.
- Our best advice for the day of the interview: Take a shower, use a good deodorant and go easy on the cologne or perfume. Once you are in your interview clothes, don’t eat anything, don’t smoke and only drink clear liquids. This is not the time to be wearing your double tall mocha.
- Bring multiple copies of your résumé, references and work samples, if applicable. There may be multiple people at the interview or the interviewer may misplace your résumé. It’s always good to have a few copies on hand just in case.
- Arrive at least 10 minutes early. Duck into the restroom, take a look in the mirror and check your appearance. Make sure everything is in place. Take a few deep breaths to help calm your nerves.
- Never, ever underestimate the power of a good breath mint.
- Turn off your cell phone BEFORE you enter the building. Nothing is more annoying than an interviewee distracted by a cell phone. Better yet, leave it in the car.
- Be polite to everyone you meet; the interview starts the minute you walk in that door. Some interviewers will ask the receptionist for their impression of you. Smile!
- Greet the interviewer with a smile, a firm hand shake, look the interviewer in the eye and introduce yourself.
- One of the most important ways to set yourself apart from your competition is attitude. If you have all the skills but a poor attitude, you will lose the job. Not only are employers looking for a skill set, they want to make sure you play well with others. A great attitude can sometimes make up for some shortfalls. They can teach or train you a particular skill. Attitude is something that you bring to the table.
- If they offer you a glass of water, accept it. Taking a sip of water can give you some time to think through a tough question.
WHAT EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING FOR DURING AN INTERVIEW:
- They are trying to find out if you are a good fit within their work environment. This is where attitude is a key.
- Now is not the time to be shy. Try to answer questions with more than just a yes or no. If you are asked if you’ve done a certain task, expand and say how and when you did it. Let the conversation flow. Being a good communicator will show that you can work well with people.
- Listen carefully to the questions you are being asked and give thoughtful answers. It’s okay to have a moment of silence while you think through a question. That is one of the hardest things to do, but really, it’s okay.
- Let the interviewer set the pace. Everyone has a busy schedule, so keep an eye out for signs that they are pressed for time and keep answers concise as needed.
- Show your interest in the project they are interviewing for; ask questions on anything you find interesting. Try saying, “If we are not pressed for time I would really like to hear more about that.” Most people are very excited about the projects they are working on and would love to share.
- When you are asked technical questions, see if you can relate it back to their project as well as discussing what you have done previously.
- When bringing the interview to a close, be sure to thank the interviewer for his or her time. Make sure they know you are interested in the position. They know that you are interviewing them as much as they are you. “I really appreciate your time and your project sounds amazing. I would love to be part of the team that makes it happen.” They will appreciate knowing that if offered, you will take the position.
- If you can, get a business card so you can mail or email a thank you note within 24-48 hours of your interview. Your note should again thank them for the interview and reiterate how much you would like to be part of the project. If the interview is short, relay any information you may have forgotten in the interview that is relevant. Be careful of spelling and if handwritten, neatness counts!
IMPORTANT: Any discussion of salary and benefits should be discussed with LAUNCH, not with the client. Focus on the project while interviewing.