Interviewing for a new job is somewhat of an awkward and frightening experience. In many ways, it’s similar to college dating days again. After all, first impressions count. Hygiene is vital. Being friendly, approachable, and likable is critical. Before going back on that dating scene…er, uh, job interview, here are five tips to freshen up on in case it’s been a while.
Deals are made or lost on first impressions. Be sure your personal appearance isn’t what costs you an opportunity at landing your dream job. In today’s culture, many offices and professional work environments are very relaxed. Dress professionally, even if the office has a Friday casual vibe and attire.
No matter what the professional setting is, you don’t have the job yet. You need to go to the interview dressed to land a job, not dressed as though you are heading to happy hour.
Incredibly this even has to be discussed, but you would be surprised. Be sure to shower on the day of your interview. Even if you don’t typically shower every day, make a point to shower on the day of your interview. Interviewers who are offended by your scent will be sure to end the interview early.
The other side of this is don’t put too much perfume or cologne on; in fact, error on the side on no perfume or cologne. Just as you don’t need the offending scent of not showering to chase the interviewer out of the room, you don’t need the overbearing scent of too much perfume or cologne choking the life out of the interviewer.
If your interview is scheduled right after breakfast or lunch, be sure to brush your teeth before the interview. It’s amazing how quickly your qualifications go out the window when you are simply remembered as the person with broccoli or sesame seeds stuck between your teeth.
One of the deadly sins of interviewing is not being prepared. Your interview is more than just an interview, it should be considered a test. Anything you are not prepared to answer is like a failed answer on a test.
One of the worst offenses to preparation is not being aware of what is on your own resume. Be sure you know everything on your resume. When an interviewer asks you a question about experiences that are listed on your resume and you are not prepared to speak to it, you might as well get up and leave the interview at that point because you are not getting the job.
Have at least five copies of your resume, on resume paper, to hand out during the interview process. Don’t make the assumption the person who is interviewing you has a copy of your resume or even saw your resume before walking into the interview room. Be prepared to give anyone you meet a copy of your resume.
Ask Questions During the Interview
The worst thing you can do for your chances of landing a job is to not have any questions for the interviewer at the end of the interview process.
You should have at least 3-5 questions written down before you even enter the interview. How long has this job been open? Why is it open; did someone leave the job or is it newly created? If someone left, why did they leave? Other questions could be about the company or the department you will be working for.
Questions tie back to preparation, and it is extremely important to have questions prepared. Remember, this is your opportunity to interview the company too. You need to figure out if this is the right fit for you too.
Personable and Appreciative
An interview can be a very taxing event, especially if there are multiple interviews on the same day. Be sure to be personable and appreciative of the interviewer’s time. If several people were interviewing you, thank them all individually.
Before ending the interview, ask the interviewer for a business card or contact information. Ask them if it would be ok to send them an email afterward with any follow-up questions you may have. Whether you have questions or not, follow up immediately with a “thank you” email to anyone who interviewed you. Be appreciative of their time and the information they provided.
Interviewing is a tough enough process to go through as it is. For some, it can be a very exhausting experience. Putting your best foot forward in the process may not necessarily land you the job, but it should definitely get you in the front door.