Here are five crucial interview tips you can use to avoid blowing your next interview:
#1 – Don’t Be Late
Your first impression is crucial. Be on time. You never want to be late to a job interview. Unless you have an injury or family emergency, there really is no excuse for it. In fact, showing up late could cost you the job. A recent study found that 33% of millennials believe that showing up to an interview late is entirely acceptable. Showing up late for a job interview could be seen as poor planning and time management skills. A lack of punctuality can also be interpreted as disrespect. Plan ahead. Set your alarm clock. Look up traffic and weather reports. Eat breakfast. Grab multiple paper copies of your resume. Arrive early but don’t show up on the company’s door more than 5 to 10 minutes early. Give yourself time to clear your head, get settled, and make sure you turn off your cell.
#2 – Look The Part
According to Forbes, 75% of potential employers believe the #1 mistake millennials make during the interview process is showing up dressed inappropriately. You should show up to your interview looking like a professional; just don’t show up in a tuxedo! Try to look up the company dress code to get a better sense of what to wear. Show up neat, groomed, and odor free.
#3 – Do Your Homework
Do your homework on the company you want to work for. You should always have knowledge about the company you’re trying to work for. Research the company’s mission, and at the very least know what products or services your potential employer offers. Not knowing could come off as unprepared. A simple google search and reading their About Us page will help you gain a better understanding of where you’ll be working and what you’ll be doing. Look for information on the company’s website, Twitter and Facebook feeds, or external sources like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. This is a great and easy way to score bonus points with your interviewer. Write down questions that may be asked during the interview.
#4 – Be Confident Not Arrogant
Millennials sometimes get the bad rap of being labeled overconfident. During your interview, be conscious of your answers and body language. Remember to smile, sit up straight, and don’t cross your arms. You want to come across as someone willing to learn. Be sure to listen as much as you speak. When you do speak, avoid fillers such as “um,” “so,” “like,” and “you know.”
#5 – Follow Up
Before leaving an interview, you should always let the interviewer know that you’re interested in the opportunity. If you want the job, make it known! Find out what the next steps are and ask when they plan on making a decision. Don’t be intimidated by this question. It’s okay to want to know this information, and it will help you figure out when it’s appropriate to follow up. Ask if it’s okay to connect at some point via LinkedIn. If you haven’t heard anything by the given date, wait at least two days before you send a follow up email. Always send a thank-you note following the interview. Do not underestimate the power of a handwritten thank you note. It stands out! This is also a great way to jog your potential employer’s memory and to remind them that you exist. Use social media to your advantage. In some cases, you may want to connect with your interviewer via LinkedIn following the interview. Don’t invite them to connect without first having their permission and don’t connect without including a brief message.
The job interview is still one of the hardest challenges of the job-seeking process. It’s that final step that separates you from landing the job. Unfortunately, there aren’t many do overs. So prepare yourself and remember these tips to help increase your chances.