Am I Dreaming – or am I back in the military? If these rules sound familiar it may be because these are the same standards as the military.
1. Look Sharp! – Before the interview select a couple of interview outfits. Depending on the industry, and position, get out your best duds and check them over for spots and wrinkles. Even if it is a casual environment you don’t want to look like you slept in your clothes. Above all, dress for confidence – if you feel good, others will respond to you accordingly.
2. Show up on time – Never, never, be late to an interview. Allow extra time to arrive early in the vicinity, allowing for things like “getting lost.”. Enter the building 10 or 15 minutes before the interview.
3. Be Prepared – Carry a folder that contains extra copies of your resume, a copy of your references, and paper to take notes. It is also a good idea to have some prepared questions that you want to ask, when appropriate.
4. Look Alert – A firm handshake and plenty of eye contact from the beginning, is important to demonstrate confidence. Speak distinctly, in a confident voice, even though you may feel shaky. People respond to energy – bring some with you.
5. Listen, Listen, Listen – One of the most under-utilized skills used in an interview is listening. Make sure you are not only listening but reading between the lines as well. Sometimes what is not said is just as important as what is said.
6. Answer the Question Asked – Candidates are so eager to give an answer that they don’t think about whether their answer fits the question. Make sure you understand what is asked. Ask for clarification if you are not sure.
7. Give Specific Examples – One good specific example of your background is worth fifty vague stories. Prepare your stories ahead of the interview. Give examples that will highlight your successes and uniqueness. Your past behavior is an indicator of your future performance.
8. Ask Questions – Be prepared to ask questions. Most people don’t ask questions and miss the opportunity to find out valuable information. Your questions are an indicator of your interest in the company or job.
9. Follow up – Whether it’s through email or regular mail, the follow-up is one more chance to remind the interviewer of all the valuable traits you bring to the job/company – your added value.
10. Do Your Research – Researching, the company before the interview, and learning as much as possible about the services, the products, the customers and the competition will give you an edge understanding the problems. The more you know about the company and what they stand for, the better chance you have of selling yourself to them.
It is important to appear confident and cool for the interview. One way to do that is to be prepared to the best of your ability. There is no way of predicting what the interview holds in store, but being “put together” will make you feel less anxious and prepared to present yourself and beat out the competition.