By Bob Werber
Congratulations! You’ve only recently hung up your cap and gown and added your diploma to a frame – and now you have a possible job offer to look forward to!
So, years of studying hard at college have finally paid off and that all-important interview is now written in your planner. As we’re sure you’d like to ace that interview – even if it’s an informal one – we’re bringing you our top tips to make sure you do.
Research the Company
It’s surprising how many people attend an interview without spending some time learning all about the company in question. Find out how long the business has been around, who works there and what the team has been up to recently (award wins, charity events etc) and impress your potential new employer by asking questions based on your findings.
Think about it; if you owned your own company, you’d be far more impressed with the candidate who’s spent a few hours discovering all about you, than the one who arrived to the interview unprepared.
Know The Job Description and Why You Are A Good Fit For It
Although some employers to general interviews with new college grads, in most cases you’ll probably be interviewing for a specific position. It’s a good idea to actually print the description out if possible so you can ask good questions about it. Most importantly, have a good statement in mind that you can make as to why your studies, your experience and even your disposition make you a good candidate for the job.
Carefully Consider Your Choice of Outfit
While it’s important to dress professionally for an interview, keep in mind the environment of the company you’re hoping to eventually work for. Going for a role in the media? Professional will always win, but think about quirky ways you can stand out, too. A nice pin, or a colorful printed shirt might just keep you in the mind of the interviewer over someone who turns up in a drab gray skirt suit. Don’t go too over the top, though; instead, keep it simple yet stylish.
Check Out Bus and Train Timetables in Advance
Take some time to work out the best route to your interview – and the one that will give you plenty of time at the other end to catch your breath and relax for a while before you head into the building. No one wants to be caught off-guard by delayed trains or buses, so allow yourself plenty of time; that way if something does go wrong you’ll have plenty of time in which to put it right and catch another mode of transport.
Turn Off Your Cell Phone
You’d think this kind of tip would go without saying, but thanks to those pre-interview nerves you might just forget to turn off your cell phone. Make sure it’s fully switched off, not just on silent, to be absolutely certain of no disruptions. There can’t be anything more embarrassing than a silly ringtone going off while you’re in the middle of telling the interviewer about your relevant experience and qualifications.
Have A Good Closing Statement
Rather than trying to make something up on the spot, prepare a simple closing statement in your mind like “It was great to meet you and learn more about this job role. I look forward to talking with you again about working together. Thanks for your time.” It will help you avoid the mistake of trying to come up with more and more final reasons why the company should hire you, which interviewees often make at the end of a meeting. Close the interview out simply and professionally, and you won’t look desperate.
Remember – You’re in the Interview Until You Leave the Building!
What do we mean by this? Well, you might be surprised to learn that the interviewer will ask a receptionist or doorman to keep an eye on your behavior too. After all, they have to be able to tell apart a list of candidates in some way. You might feel like you’ve aced the interview itself, but if you leave the building chewing, talking loudly on your cell or being obnoxious toward others in the building, it may not go unnoticed!