You have always heard that practice makes perfect. An athelet practices before the big game; an actor has a dress rehearsal before the grand opening. Your big event is that interview. "Land" the perfect score and you get the job. So don't just wing it......practice!
Before the Interview:
Make sure to know your resume (the recruiter only knows you because of your resume….questions will most likely stem from your resume.)
Prepare some "go to" responses. Have a mental rollerdeck of some key behavioral questions. Most interviews will either be all or partially behavior al based. Having some good examples of your past experiences will make the interview go more smoothly. We have all mind blanked from stress where we can hardly remember our names! Having these mental answers will help at least lessen the possibility that you wont' just sit there with a blank expression when the interviewer asks the first question!
Have examples where you excelled or show strength in:
Team work/ Collaboration
The Day Before:
Confirm your interview with the recruiter (time, date, location and with whom you should be meeting).
How familiar are you with the interview location? Doing a trial run (drive/transportation, parking, etc. can take up more time than you think, doing a drive by will take out the guess work and some stress.)
Practice your interview answers in a mirror or record yourself. Watching yourself you correct not just what you say but your body language speaks volumes. Taking some time to practices and correct bad posture or behaviours can make the difference in getting the job or not.
Lay out your clothes! Do you have everything clean and pressed? Are your shoes polished?
What to Bring:
Bring extra copies of your resume
If you submitted other documents (cover letter, writing sample, etc…make sure to have copies of these as well)
A portfolio (with a pad of paper and a pen)
Handkerchief/a wet nap/purell
A completed application (not necessarily for this company…) Most applications have a similar format. Bringing one with you will save time and the headache of trying to look up addresses and phone numbers of previous employers and all those dates!
The Day of
No matter whose birthday it is or that friend that so needs you to be his/her wingman...get a good nights rest and keep the celebrating until after you get the job!
Have a good breakfast and if you can go for a walk or run. Your brain needs the energy and the exercise will help you process your thoughts.
Leave early…..you should arrive about 15 min. before the appointment. Most times, you will be asked to fill out an application. If you arrive at the set time, you may end up using the valuable time to interview completing the form….bring your old application to help save time!
If you arrive more than 15 mins before go walk around the block, go get a cup of coffee…if you are extremely early, its okay to inform the receptionist that you have arrived early and ask if the person would be available sooner…IF NOT, don’t just hang out…thank them and tell them you will return closer to the time that was scheduled (and ask if there is anything like an application, etc., that you could fill out in the mean time.)
Do NOT just walk into the office….go directly to the bathroom first.
Check yourself out…all the way around.,.,.did you sit in anything,.,,is your skirt stuck in your pantyhose,,,,even your shoes….try explaining that odor to the recruiter when both of you are trapped in a tiny little room and you stepped in doggie doo!
Immediately after your interview:
Do not even turn the car on! Fill out thank you cards! To each person that you met including the receptionist (they have more power and input than you think). If possible have the envelopes pre addressed and stamped…that will save time.
Review your notes: what follow up or action items were you given.
Mark your calendar for 2 days after the recruiter said they would get back to you. That will be your date to call and discuss next steps.
These steps will not only make you a better candidate (you are prepared, you follow through and follow up appropriately) it will show the recruiter that you are taking this seriously and that you really want the job....
May the best man or woman win!