Most of the interview preparation tips and advice you come across are focused on what you should do to prepare for the actual interview – conducting research on the company, practicing interview questions and planning a list of questions to ask the interviewing team. But that should not be your whole focus when it comes to the entire interview process.
Which is why we have important interview tips and advice you probably never thought of.
Your interview actually starts way before you even walk into the interview room. Yes, you read that right. Your interview starts the moment you answer your phone when a potential hiring manager contacts you. If you are conducting a job search and receive a phone call from a phone number that you do not recognize, it could be a hiring manager. When you answer your phone, make sure that you are in a quiet place free from distraction. You will also want to be in a place where you can take notes regarding your interview location and time. If you are driving, at the grocery store or at the playground with your children, it might be best to call the person back when you can focus on the conversation. Check out these 5 must-know interview questions and answers that will get you hired!
You want to appear professional and make a great impression right from the start. The person calling to schedule your interview may take notes during your conversation and provide feedback to the hiring manager. You do not want to come across as someone who cannot multitask if you have something else going on when the phone rings.
Ask for the name and phone number of the person you are speaking with when they call to schedule your interview. If for some reason you need to reschedule your interview, it is better to know how to reach the person who you already spoke with rather than leaving a message on a general human resources department voice mail. Also ask who will be participating in the interview. This is a great way for you to find out the names of your interviewers so that you can research each interviewer ahead of time and also so you have a better idea if you should prepare for a group interview.
On the day of the interview, arrive five to 10 minutes early. If you are late, you will not make a good impression in your interview or the company may even cancel your interview altogether. On the other hand, if you arrive more than 30 minutes early, it may be best to wait in your car so that the hiring manager does not feel rushed, which may make your interview feel rushed.
If you are able to, conduct a practice run to the interview location at the same time of day prior to your interview to make sure that you give yourself ample time to get there. Scope out at least one other route just in case there is a delay or detour on the day of the interview. When you get to your interview location, turn off your cell phone ringer. You do not want it to ring during your interview and cause a distraction.
When you walk into the building, focus on making a positive first impression right away. Be courteous and confident with every person you encounter. You never know if you will be waiting for an elevator right next to the person who will be conducting the interview. Treat everyone you come across with respect. You never know if the receptionist is actually someone from the hiring team who is sitting there to see how you interact with others and will report back to the interviewers.
Make yourself memorable in all the right ways. As you enter the interview room, smile, look everyone in the eye and give a firm handshake to each interviewer as you introduce yourself. You have less than 60 seconds to make a first impression, so make sure your confidence and excitement about the position come across right away and your interview will start on a positive note.
Now that you ready for your actual interview, make sure you have an interview plan!