Job Interview Quick Tips

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As Will Rogers said, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is particularly true in a job interview. To help you make that first impression your best, here are ten job interview quick tips:

  1. Before the interview, make sure any social networking account connected to your name is either set to “private” or 100% professional. Facebook is constantly changing their privacy settings, so even if you think it’s private, double check!
  2. If you are applying for a job at a restaurant or retail position, dressing in similar colors to the employee uniform can subtly encourage the interviewer to picture you as one of their coworkers.
  3. Show up ten to fifteen minutes early for the interview – no more, no less. Obviously, being late makes you look unprofessional, but being too early can be perceived as desperate. Showing up too early can also be awkward for the interviewer, especially if it is a small office without a separate waiting room, where there is nothing for you to do but sit and stare at people working.
  4. Relax. If you were invited in for an interview, you’re already doing better than dozens of applicants who never got beyond the “send in your resume” phase.
  5. If the interviewer asks about a skill or experience you don’t have, make a connection to your own abilities. For example, if you have never given a presentation at a board meeting, you might say, “…But I was in the theater club in college, so I am used to speaking in front of an audience, and I can memorize notes quickly.”
  6. Always bring five extra copies of your resume. Your interviewer might spill coffee on his copy, or you might end up interviewed by multiple people. In cases like these, having extras handy will make it clear that you are prepared and professional.
  7. Research the company ahead of time, and come prepared with several questions about the company. Bring a pad and pen and ask if you can take note of the answers. This shows you are prepared and genuinely interested in the job.
  8. It is also a good idea to ask for specific details about the job, job duties, and daily work life. For example, “Who would my immediate supervisor be?” or “What projects would I work on?” or “What could I do with my first three months here that would make the biggest difference for the company?” Using “My” and “I” in your questions encourages the interviewer to picture you filling the position, and associate the job opening with you.
  9. If you haven’t been given one already, ask for the interviewer’s business card. That way, you can send a follow-up email later thanking them for their time. Also, if you forget their name, you have a handy reminder!
  10. Speaking of business cards, it is always a good idea to have your own. If you don’t have any from your current job, you can order packs of business cards online for fourteen dollars.