You have landed an interview, in person. After answering all of their questions on the phone, they invite you to visit the company to meet you face to face.
Your interviewer will form an opinion about you before he has asked you his first question.
Yes, it is simply true. Create a great first impression. Prepare your clothes, jewelry, and hair style carefully. An interview is not the time to make a political statement. If you want the job, play the game. Conservative is the active word here. To be doubly sure, walk into the lobby of the company and look around at what people are wearing a week before the interview. How do people dress in this company? If men are wearing slacks and shirts, then you will want to wear something one step up, a sport coat and tie. If women are wearing good pants and a blouse, choose a coordinated jack and pants or appropriate dress. Stay with conservative colors, and women, no cleavage! Wear your fun clothes on the weekend, but remember, you want the job.
Your interviewer will be impressed if you care about the company.
She will talk about the company and perhaps give you a tour. Your role is to listen very carefully, make eye contact, stay mentally and emotionally engaged. Be interested. In preparation for proving that you care about the company, do your research. Get on the computer and go all over the company website. Read their news articles and find out what new products or services they are launching. Who is the CEO and what school did she attend? Look for similar interests you can mention. How are they positioning their new service against their competitors? What ideas do you have, and what do you already know about the industry. Why are you excited about their service or product? Get enthusiastic. Care about the company.
Your interviewer may lack good interviewing skills.
In fact, it is likely that your interviewer won’t know how to properly interview. He is a first line HR supervisor or department manager. He hasn’t been trained in what to ask and how to draw out your best qualities. So help him out! Be prepared with five qualities you want to make sure they ‘discover’ about you. Practice telling interesting and successful events in your work experience, especially those that highlight your potential to this company. Write out what challenged you about a successful project. What actions did you take? What measureable results did you contribute to your former organization?
Just five stories, all set to tell. That is your homework. Then, no matter what they ask you, you have a story to tell. Interviewers remember well-told stories. And they will remember you.
Jan Shurtz can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org