I suppose I should preface this post by stating I work in an office environment, but I truly think you should always go ‘all out’ for an interview even if you are simply applying for a summer job. I have been on both sides of the table, being the interviewee and the interviewer, and here are some basic tips to help you land the job!
- Be on time – do not show up late. Try to arrive 15 minutes before the interview to make sure you are settled. Give yourself a second glance in the mirror and head in! If for any reason you think you may be late, contact the company immediately and explain you are running late.
- Prepare – research the company. Make sure you show up knowing why you applied to this company and this position. Practice your answers for the ‘typical’ interview questions (What are your strengths, what are your weaknesses, etc.- a Google search will help you find these). There is literally nothing worse than ‘I don’t know’ when you ask why the person is applying for this position.
- Dress to impress – always dress up for an interview. If it is an office job, WEAR A SUIT! If it isn’t, wear nice slacks and a professional shirt. It is very important that your clothes are wrinkle free, fit you well, and are clean. Keep makeup and jewelry to a minimum and make sure your hair is brushed! This isn’t the time or place to try out the new high fashion outfit you just purchased, or attempt to pull off the bed-head look.
- Turn off your cell phone – chances are no one is dying, so you really don’t need your phone on. The people interviewing you took time out of their day to interview you, you want the job. Give them the respect and time they deserve, shut it off.
- Have extra copies of your resume – make sure you have a few copies of your resume/application. Someone may ask you for one during the interview and you do not want to look unprepared.
- Act interested – show your enthusiasm for the job in the interview. If you really want the job – say that!
- Write a thank you – I cannot count how many times I have interviewed a stellar candidate, only for them to be ‘cut’ because they did not take the time to follow-up with a thank you note. Write a sincere thank you expressing your interest in the company and the position you were applying for.