So, you just aced the call with your recruiter. And now you have an interview for your next job. What should you do first? Well, there are dozens of articles out there that outline what you need to do during the interview. And many more on how to prepare for the interview in advance.
Absolutely, learn about the company by reviewing the company website. Look at the About page and get a sense of what the company does, how it got started and what goals the company has for the coming year and longer term future. Use LinkedIn, of course, learn about the interviewer, human resources manager and the hiring manager. Get your responses to standard interview questions rehearsed.
And, of course, ask the recruiter at the staffing firm what are the keys to success in your interview.
But, one of the often-missed things to do in preparing for your interview, is to ensure you know where you are going. Specifically, how to get there, on time, and with breathing room to collect your thoughts before you are thrown into the interview and the pressure is really on!
OK, you may be thinking, “What? that’s easy enough.” Well, it must not be, the feedback from hiring managers and companies is not always good.
We hear a set of common themes again and again. “The candidate showed up, late.” The candidate was frazzled, lacked confidence and appeared unprepared.” “The candidate failed miserably starting out with a bad first impression.”
That’s right, the three most important things in a first impression as it pertains to an interview are:
- Being early to ensure being on time to work with your interviewer’s schedule.
- Being prepared in both mental readiness and physical appearance.
- Being confident in every aspect including the initial handshake.
Then, you can carry on the interview with success.
OK, Spelling it out. To get these three things right, the first time – on a day that will be, and should be, your best day at work. Do a rehearsal.
Rehearse arriving on time. If it’s Monday, and your interview is on Wednesday, get up, and drive to the interview at the same time as the interview, one day in advance. Get a sense of the traffic and time it will take for you to get to the interview 15 minutes early. Learn the route to get there. Put it in your GPS if you have one. Do all this a day or two before your interview. Don’t rely on Google Maps drive time – it is usually wrong, and is giving a drive time based on traffic patterns at the time you do the map, not at the time of your interview.
Lay out your clothes, try them on, make sure they fit, and they are clean. If you are wearing a suit that day, for the big impression, but you haven’t worn that suit since the wedding 3 years ago, try it on so you can be sure it fits, well in advance. Check the shirt, iron it now, not the morning of your interview.
Plan a good breakfast for the day of the interview. The first meal of the day is going to give you the energy to have and exhibit confidence to ace the interview.
Practice your handshake. Ask someone to shake your hand, and give you feedback. You may not even know what impression you are leaving with your handshake.
All the other things you have been learning and practicing for the interview will now go smoothly, if you build this foundation several days in advance. Ask your Barton Staffing Solutions or Barton Professional Group recruiter for input if you have doubts in any area – they are your advocate and want to see you get the job.