By Robyn Crigger, OI Global Partners, Charlotte
There are definitely certain things to do to prepare for your job interview. Some preparations take a little more time than others. Here are some of the key items that should be included:
- Research the company thoroughly, including things that are “in the news” in order to be seen as someone who has kept on top of the company’s activity. This should include those areas in which you might contribute in the future.
- Be sure that your interviewing attire is clean and in good shape – that includes the bottom of your shoes. (No holes in the soles, etc.) Pick up anything from the dry cleaners a day or two ahead of time.
- Make a “dry-run” drive to your destination and be aware of any roadwork being done to avoid running late, as well as where to park and the time it takes to walk from the parking lot to the office. Allowing a little extra time is very wise.
- If you need a haircut, do that a couple of days ahead to make sure the cut is crisp but had a day or two to avoid hair challenges.
- One visual that can cause a quick negative reaction is “if your teeth need cleaning or you have bad breath.” Again, a dental cleaning may take weeks for an appointment. So keep up with your dental appointments, floss and gargle.
- First impressions cannot be “done over.” From the moment you walk into the office, use a firm handshake – but not too tight. A firm handshake is a sign of confidence.
- Review your resume thoroughly the night before or morning of the interview. Many questions are taken from that information. Look at all information shared and ask yourself what questions might be taken from your resume. (Examples of skills and tasks you have done, problems solved, etc.)
- Of your strengths and experiences, how would you describe what you “bring to the table” that would benefit this employer? Give lots of thought as to how you will respond. Write down some of your greatest accomplishments and what skills helped you to achieve them.
- Consider the challenges that you had to overcome and how you managed them.
- One way to help your interviewers relax, as well as help you, is to smile frequently, without too big of a grin. This helps them to see you as a pleasant person with whom to work, as well as eases the tension on your face. A little edginess before an interview can be helpful if it makes you alert and energized. Use some deep breathing to help stay calm.
Robyn Crigger is Managing Partner, OI Global Partners – Compass Career Management Solutions in Charlotte, NC. Trained and experienced in various Human Resources areas from assessments to executive coaching, Robyn strives to provide professional assistance to both companies and individuals faced with transitions.