You have an in-person interview coming up. *Cue the applause* You’ve gotten this far, now what? You want a successful interview that gets you one step closer to landing that job. So…here are 12 do’s and don’ts for in-person interviews.
Don’t: Arrive late
Do: Arrive 15 minutes early and walk-in 5-10 minutes before scheduled time
First rule of thumb: don’t be late. This is your first impression. Show that you respect the company’s time by being prepared and arriving early.
Don’t: Pick your interview outfit last minute
Do: Pick outfit at least 2 days in advance
You have enough to prepare and focus on for your interview. Take this off your plate by prepping your professional outfit at least 2 days before your interview.
Don’t: Wear jeans, t-shirts, or tennis shoes
Do: Dress professionally and appropriately for the role
Interviews are an important step in determining if someone is the right fit for a role. If you show up in an outfit that doesn’t match the tone of the interview, it is likely you won’t leave as positive of an impression. Although tennis shoes are in-style right now, do not wear them to an interview. Wear something you feel confident in and you’ll start off on the right foot. If you need help, ask your recruiter for help!
*Research the company’s dress code and be one step above. (Check their social media accounts!) If they are casual, dress business casual. If they are business casual, dress more professional.
*Don’t show up too casual or too dressy, you want to already match the tone of the company.
Don’t: Forget positive body language
Do: Make eye contact, sit up straight
The right body language speaks volumes. Your interviewer will pick up on subtle cues-
turned away and looking around while answering questions? They must want to be anywhere else. OR, eye contact and facing me the entire time? Wow, they must be engaged!
Do: Listen and talk at a good pace
Interrupting is a huge no-no. Although you may be nervous and not mean anything negative by it, interrupting can come off as only caring what you have to say instead of understanding your interviewer. Show respect, get respect.
Don’t: Speak quickly or ramble
Do: Take a deep breath and answer the question that was asked
Be present in your interview. Take a deep breath to calm any nerves before speaking. Listen to your interviewer, pause to think, then answer their question. Being too quick to respond can eliminate great answers you would have given if you slowed down.
Don’t: Speak negatively about past employers
Do: Focus on your goals and what you’d like out of your next role
You have limited time to make a good impression during your interview. Don’t use the time talking down on past companies or managers. Focus on the positive and speak about what you learned from your last role. Transition this into what your goals are for your next role.
Don’t: Forget to do your research
Do: Study the company’s website, values, and the job description
At minimum, research the company and the role. Putting in obvious effort before your interview shows interest and responsibility. Start off on the right foot!
*If you are working with a recruiter, they can guide you on understanding the ins-and-outs of the role and company.
Don’t: Give answers you think they want to hear
Do: Answer honestly and be yourself
Answer questions honestly and be yourself. You are a person. You have accomplishments and a personality, don’t be afraid to show them in a professional context.
Don’t: Fail to ask questions
Do: Come prepared with 2-3 relevant questions
Bring questions to ask based on your company research. Don’t forget to come up with at least 1-2 questions during the interview based on your conversation. Think about company culture, future growth for the role, or Show you can create quality questions within the context of the interview.
*Remember that you are also interviewing them to determine if it is the right job for you.
Don’t: Forget to follow up
Do: Send a thank you note or email
This is key! After your interview, send an email or note thanking your interviewer for their time. Reiterate your interest in the position.
Don’t: Forget to have fun
Do: Enjoy the opportunity
Your interview is a chance at a new challenge. It should be exciting. A journey awaits!
The key takeaway: prepare, be honest, and put your best foot forward. Each interview is an opportunity to showcase your skills, qualifications, and personality. Stick with these do’s and don’t for in-person interviews and you’ll soar. You’ll increase your chances of making a positive and lasting impression with your interviewer.
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