What You Do BEFORE An Interview
Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience.
We plan as much as possible for the expected questions; we obsess over what we’ll say and how we’ll say it.
But in all that anxiousness to handle the interview well, we often overlook some of the most important ways to make the right impression with recruiters!
Sending the right message isn’t just about saying the right things during the interview. It also includes all the things that lead up to the interview itself.
So today, let’s take a minute to review the things that you should be doing before any interview to help boost your confidence and impress any employer!
Put your pants on one leg at a time
How you dress may not be the most important part of what you show your interviewer, but it is generally the first.
And while they say you should dress for the job you want, you should still dress like your interview is a formal affair — because it is.
That doesn’t mean tuxes and cumberbunds, but it does mean no ripped jeans and muscle shirts.
Your outfit should also be comfortable. If you wouldn’t wear it any other time, it’s not worth wearing just to make an impression. You don’t want tight collars or ill-fitting seams to distract you from your interview!
Don’t ask, don’t tell.
When you don’t ask unnecessary questions, you don’t implicitly tell your recruiter that you’re less-than-competent.
If you’re able to put together a job application and set up an interview, you’re more than capable of Googling the directions to their office, or researching basic info about the business.
Rather than calling your potential employer and asking them to help you figure things out, show them that you can problem-solve and follow instructions on your own.
Obviously, this doesn’t apply if you actually need to speak to them. For instance, if you need to change your interview time, or have to cancel. But if it’s something you can handle on your own, you should.
There’s early, and then there’s too early
Employers like to see you show up on schedule, because most jobs will require you to do the same day-in and day-out.
But when it comes to interviews, there is such a thing as too early.
15-30 minutes might not seem like much, but when it’s spent sitting in a waiting room under the scrutiny of a receptionist or other staff members, it can make things awkward.
We recommend being about 5 minutes early. This still makes an impression in terms of your punctuality, but it also sends the message that you’re an accurate planner, not just an over-planner.
Don’t shake it like a polaroid picture…
Handshakes are the most common way to greet someone in person when you meet them for the first time.
It’s important that you exude confidence in your handshake. That means having a firm handshake, and matching them in terms of grip strength.
Timing is also important. Don’t hesitate when they offer their hand, and let go when they do.
Receptionists and office administrative staff could be the first people you encounter.
And while to you they might just be part of the process of getting into your interview, to your interviewer they are trusted coworkers, who know what it takes to represent the company on the frontlines.
Hiring managers will quite often ask for feedback from any staff members that you encounter during your visit — not just the people at the actual interview. So before you get a chance to make an impression with your interviewer, make sure you’re making the right impression with everyone else!
Simply be yourself, and be polite, when you speak with them. Treat everyone with the same respect you show your recruiter. And always make sure that you don’t bother the wrong people.
Remember, just because they sit near the door doesn’t mean they are necessarily a receptionist. If they are busy typing, or speaking on the phone, either wait or find someone else to help you connect with your interviewer.
Knowing the right things to do before an interview not only helps you plan, but it can give you a boost in confidence in your actual interview. Because you know you’re already on your way to making the best impression possible!