Surviving Interview Day
Make a winning impression by showing you are reliable and organized. Get directions in advance and take a test drive if you are unfamiliar with the area. Also, check out the parking situation or public transportation schedules. Allow enough time for traffic and unexpected delays.
It's All About You
Review your resume thoroughly, but don't memorize it word for word. When talking, focus on your skills and accomplishments and how they correlate to the position you want. Hone in on how your experience has prepared you for this job and what you can bring to the table.
Dress to Impress
Follow this simple rule of thumb: "It's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed." Even if the work environment is casual, your appearance still must be neat, clean and professional. Unless the interviewer specifically tells you to dress casually, a classic suit is always your best bet. Also, limit your use of jewelry, makeup and cologne or perfume.
The Name Game
Make sure you know the correct name and pronunciation of the interviewer. Listen carefully when the interviewer states his or her name and repeat it back when you say hello. Before you leave, ask for a business card from each person you met. This gives you the necessary information to write thank-you letters.
Hand It Over
A firm handshake is a sign of confidence, but avoid the bone crushing vice grip. Weak and clammy handshakes typically make a bad impression. Don't forget to look the interviewer directly in the eye when initiating contact.
Appear confident by sitting up straight and maintaining good eye contact throughout the interview. Poor posture may translate to low self-esteem. Refrain from fidgeting or chewing gum or candy.
You never know who you'll meet in the parking lot, elevator or lobby, so be polite to everyone from the receptionist to the CEO. After all, they could have an influence in the hiring process. Short and Sweet Avoid long-winded answers. Practice in advance and you will sound more focused and polished.
The Sounds of Silence
While it may be golden, silence can be uncomfortable. However, jumping in with irrelevant comments just to fill up airtime will only make you look nervous. If you are experiencing trouble forming an answer to a question, wait a few seconds before responding. The use of "um, uh, like, well, err ..." sounds well, um ... stupid. Take your time and think before you speak.
Cold Hard Cash
Although salary is an important factor in your job search, don't let it be the driving force behind your choice. In interviews, it's more important to talk about why you're the right person for the job. Do not bring up salary unless the interviewer asks.
Practice Makes Perfect
Rehearsing is not just for actors. Take time to review what you want to say by asking a friend to play "the interviewer." By practicing your responses to typical interviewing questions, you will significantly reduce your stress level and improve your chances of making a winning impression on the interviewer.