If you’ve just been called in for the first serious interview of your professional career, this step-by-step guide can take you through the next 48 hours or so and help you get ready for any surprises that may come your way.
1. First, thank the manager or HR employee who invited you to the interview. Make sure you confirm the time and place.
2. Map the route to your destination and determine how long it will take to get there and how you’ll accomplish this. Will you drive, take the train, or ask someone else to transport you? Clarify these details before you make another move.
3. Clear your schedule. If you have other appointments that may crowd into your interview time, cancel as necessary. Just because the interviewer says the meeting will take 30 minutes doesn’t mean it will take 30 minutes. Reset the entire morning or afternoon within an hour or two of your appointment time.
4. Choose clothing that shows respect for the occasion. A suit will usually work, but these days men can also wear a pressed shirt and tie, and women can wear a professional dress or blouse combined with skirt or slacks. Take your clothes to the dry cleaner if you need to.
5. Visit the company website. Find answers to these three questions: What exactly does this company sell or produce? What will you probably be doing every day in this position? How would you describe this company’s culture? I.e. does this seem a like fun/formal/ fast-paced/laid back/conservative/progressive place to work?
6. Come up with a clear, concise answer to this question, an answer you can deliver in less than 60 seconds: What makes you a great fit for this job?
7. Now answer this question: What can you bring to this position that no other candidate can? Practice both answers until you can deliver them in your sleep.
8. Print out ten hard copies of your resume that you can carry with you in a professional-looking portfolio. In the same portfolio, carry a pad of paper and a reliable pen you can use to take notes. (Unless asked, you won’t be taking out, looking at, or in any way fiddling with your phone during a professional job interview. Take a moment before you leave the house to silence all your ringers and alerts.)
9. Work on your body language and non-verbal gestures. Practice sitting up straight, work on your smile, handshake, and eye contact, and control your fidgeting.
10. Come up with five intelligent questions that you can ask your interviewer before the meeting ends.
Finally, confirm your transportation one more time, and then get a full night of sleep before the big day. Still nervous? Reach out to the IA staffing experts
at the Palmer Group and let us answer any final questions you may have about the process. Good luck!