You have a big job interview coming up and you really want to be the last candidate standing. Knowing you’re likely up against some tough competition makes you nervous but you know you have what it takes to excel in the position.
Job interview success doesn’t happen by accident so you need to put some work into it. Use this advice to make such a great impression on the hiring manager that the other candidates don’t have a chance.
Dress to Impress
The manner in which you present yourself in the interview speaks volumes because it shows enthusiasm for the position and an understanding of the company culture. Generally speaking, it’s best to dress one level above the company’s standard attire. For example, if business casual — i.e., pants and a dress shirt — is the required dress code, you would want to arrive in professional business attire — i.e., a suit.
Being late to a job interview is a major blunder so don’t do it. Allow plenty of extra time in case you hit traffic or run into any other issues. If you’re unfamiliar with the part of town where the company is located take a test drive to the office a few days before the big meeting so you won’t get lost and will know where to park.
There’s a fine line between being appropriately early and too ahead of schedule. Aim to arrive between 10-15 minutes before the interview is slated to start. If you’re earlier than that, take a walk around the block.
Treat Everyone With Respect
You shouldn’t have to be told to be kind to everyone but in case your nerves leave you on edge, do realize all eyes are on you. From the moment you enter the building, people will take notice of how you interact with everyone — i.e., the security guard, administrative assistant, intern — so give each person the same respect as the hiring manager. If you don’t, you won’t — and shouldn’t — get hired.
Prepare in Advance
A job interview isn’t a situation where you can just wing it. If you want to shine, you need to take the time to learn about the company and prepare responses to common interview questions. Hiring managers meet with a lot of candidates so they know the difference between someone who prepared for the meeting and someone who didn’t — and they’re not a fan of the latter.
Come With a List of Questions
For most of the interview, you’ll be in the hot seat but at some point, the tables will turn. The hiring manager will ask if you have any questions for them and you better have a few intelligent ones to ask — i.e., nothing related to salary or perks. It can be hard to think of these questions in the moment so it’s best to arrive with a few on hand in case you don’t come up with any during the course of the interview.
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