How To Succeed In An In-Person Interview
We asked Elizabeth to personally write this blog after hearing (from an employer) how prepared she was for her internship interview.
Congratulations, you have made it to the hardest part in the interview process! Everything leading up the interview is relatively easy; scoring the interview is the hardest part. This means the company is interested in you and likes the skills you possess. While you now have an interview, this does not mean you have the job. Interviewing is what people are usually most nervous about, but having a good interview is the way to seal. To be successful in landing that new job or internship, and it is important to be prepared, here is how to make sure to have a perfect interview:
1: Dress Appropriately. Being dressed properly is important. Suits are the most acceptable attire, girls should wear a blazer, dress shirt, either dress pants or a skirt, and either heels or flats. If you decide to wear a skirt, tights are a must and make sure it is long, just above the knee is a good length. If you know you have trouble or feel uncomfortable walking in heels, do not wear them, flats are an appropriate choice as well. Guys should wear a suit, both the jacket and pants, dress shirt, tie, and dress shoes.
2: The night before. The night before it is important to pack everything up. Have everything you will need with you in your purse or briefcase. The essentials include: -2-3 copies of your resume and cover letter- this is important because employers will not always have a copy, and it is especially important if changes have been made. -Make notes!!!! It is important to know about the company you are interviewing for, need to know their mission, values, and how the company runs their business based on what they stand for, and most importantly who their clients and targeted customers are. -Make a list of questions you have for the employer, it shows your interest and also gives you a better idea of what the company is like. Additionally if you are interviewing for a job, it gives the employer an idea of what you want or desire in a potential employer. -Get a good amount of sleep, at least 7 hours. -Make sure to pack gum if you plan to drink coffee the next morning or get food before going to the interview.
3. The Day of. Make sure that you are going to arrive at your destination early and on time. If you're taking public transportation, get on an early train or bus give yourself at least one hour after arriving to the general area. It is always better to be in the area of your interview early. Once you arrive in the general vicinity of you destination, find the exact place you need to go for your interview and then go to a local coffee shop. While you are waiting, get something to eat and read over your notes one last time. If you notice you are missing something important look it up and write it in your notes. Finally, make sure to enter the facility of the interview early, arrive about 15-20 min early, this gives you time to collect yourself, make sure to switch your shoes, spit out your gum, etc.
During. Listen more and speak less. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. When it is your turn to talk, answer each question concisely; be short, simple, and to the point. If you want to take notes during your interview make sure you ask if it is okay first. At the end when the interviewer asks if you have any questions make sure you have a few to ask, three is usually a good number to ask.
After. The most important thing to do is send at Thank You Note ASAP!! Thank the person you spoke to for taking the time to meet with you, sending an email is perfectly acceptable, just make sure you read it over before you send it. Additionally, many employers are appreciating handwritten notes sent in the mail, sometimes this little extra step is what makes or breaks your success at getting the interview. In the notes if there is something you do not think you explained well enough this is your time to briefly clarify. Finally, reiterate your interest in the position and why you think you are a good candidate.