Good morning! It’s interview day!
Last night, you ironed your clothes and perfected your interview spiel. You woke up feeling confident and well-rested. Now all you have to do is chug some liquid fuel, eat breakfast, and get ready to go, right? Wrong. Before you touch that doorknob, make sure you have these things in hand.
Whether they are printed or on your phone, make sure to pull up directions before heading out. You want to get a good sense of traffic, road closures, and expected arrival time. Same rule applies for public transportation, give yourself ample time for delays or late arrivals for the bus or train. Additionally, give yourself wiggle room to accommodate unforeseen obstacles such as parking issues, a line at the security desk, or the time it takes to acquire a visitor’s badge.
It’s better to be early than late, though arriving earlier than 10 minutes prior can send the wrong message. If you are finished parking and signing in and you’re still more than 10 minutes early for your meeting, burn time doing something else. A final bathroom trip, go over your resume on a bench outside, anything to close the gap of time. You want to look interested, but not desperate.
Make sure to have the name, title, and phone number of the person you are interviewing with. You want to have a point of reference as soon as you walk in the door, or a direct line if you need to call prior to the interview.
Print several copies of your resume and cover letter, double-checking that what you’re printing matches what was emailed. If you are working with a staffing firm, print their copy of your resume. This will ensure consistency and will leverage the staffing firm’s knowledge of the best way to present your skills for that particular company.
Side note: Keep a copy for yourself to use as a cheat sheet If you ever find yourself drawing a blank.
For more technical positions in particular, the job listing is the best resource you can get. They provide insight and guidance into what the company is specifically looking for in a candidate. So, if it’s stated in the job description, it’s critical that you’re able to speak to it. Brush up on any technical terms, processes, or procedures that may be rusty to you. If you don’t possess some of these skills, don’t pretend to, but speak intelligently about the realm of your knowledge in the area. This will ultimately emphasize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
Show that you’ve been doing your homework on the company and role, and that you’re eager to learn more. Write down 5 questions to ask your interviewer. Stumped? Check out some example interview questions here.
Pen and Pad
Jotting a few notes down during the interview shows that you’re paying attention and value the information being provided.
Bonus: It’ll assist you in writing a tailored thank you note post-interview. It’s a win-win.
Lastly, if you happen to have references, sample work, or performance reviews available, bring those along. It’s a plus to have material to leave with the interviewer that backs up all claims made. Of course these are not essential, but it’s best to be over-prepared.
Now, you’re officially ready to touch that doorknob.