The little things are sometimes what’s important in landing a new position. All your hard work in getting your resume in order and in the hands of the right people could be totally worthless if you don’t follow through. Your resume presents you on paper — but in the interview, you need to present yourself in the best light possible. Some tips for doing that successfully:
1. Do your homework. Be familiar with the prospective company and your interviewer. See what you can find out online. You don’t need to spend hours on this. Rather than coming off as a stalker, you simply want to know enough to keep the conversation flowing.
2. Bring hard copies of your resume and work samples. Make sure they are organized and easy to find. You don’t want to fumble looking for them or have to take everything out of your brief case.
3. Give yourself plenty of time. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes in advance to get through the typical building security protocols. If possible, do a dry run to see just how long it takes to get there to the offices.
4. Be gracious. Make sure you greet everyone in a friendly manner and thank anyone who has helped you.
5. Pay attention to body language. Smile, when possible. Also, pay attention to details like sitting straight, not folding your hands on your chest, not yawning, etc.
6. Engage. Your interview is a conversation, don’t make it one-way. You want a dialogue, not a monologue.
7. Match greetings. Address the interviewer by the name she or he used. If the interviewer introduced herself as Mrs. Smith, use that.
8. Save the money for later. If it’s a first interview, don’t bring up salary.
9. Follow up quickly. Immediately send a thank you note. Don’t wait. You can send a formal, snail mail note if you want — but send an email thank you first.
10. Update friends or colleagues … later. If you want to tell someone about your interview — just wait, and do it in person. Don’t post a status update about it online or call a friend to tell them about it on your cell as you leave. You never know who will see or hear what you have to say. Save it for later.
This is all very basic information, but it’s often overlooked or forgotten. Looking for a job can be frustrating and nerve wracking. However, you can’t forget any little step along the way.