Unnerved, you wait in the lobby. Your hands shake and you try to stop them by grabbing your knees. Unfortunately, a copy of your resume was in your hand and has now found a new home on the floor. You smile at the receptionist, but are greeted by a raised eyebrow. You lean forward to pick up your resume, but forgot to take your hands off your knees and proceed to plant your face a few feet from the smug resume.
Your name is called and you try to brush yourself off. As you sit in front of the HR rep you wonder to yourself, am I even qualified for this job? You smile, but it seems forced. And then questions both brutally honest and direct shatter what little confidence you had. If only you had known how to prep for this interview. Let’s set the way-back machine for a week ago, shall we?
There are five things you need to do to properly prepare for a job interview:
- Research: Do your research on the company, the role, and the people that you will be meeting with, if possible. Bring questions about the business, the position and the folks on the team… and be ready to ask them.
- Appearance: Definitely be sure to put your best foot forward. Small details (i.e. shower & shampoo) do matter. Always have a mint before your interview – you want folks to remember your skills and personality, not your breath.
- Manners: Smile, say hi to anyone (I mean anyone) you meet on your way into the building, in the elevator and in the office, and try to use your interviewer’s name — it personalizes the interaction more than you’d think.
- Conversation: Be prepared to have a confident and normal conversation about who you are, the skills that you picked up along the way, and why you are interested in the role that you are seeking. Canned responses are the worst, be real.
- Follow-Up: Always send a thank you email after an interview. Also, a handwritten note is always a nice touch if it is a lengthy interview process. You may think it is old school, but it is rare to get a thoughtful note – so it will be remembered.
Ok, now let’s see how you do….
You walk in to the lobby and smile at the receptionist. “Good morning,” you say with verve and confidence. The receptionist smiles back and returns your greeting. As you sit down you realize one thing with absolute certainty, you are going to nail this interview.