With the recent hiring of our two summer interns and our latest employee, we’ve observed diverse interview techniques, both effective and not-so effective. Savvy interview skills are essential, especially when you’re going after a job with the potential to grow your career. Assuming you’ve got hygiene, professional style, and cell phone etiquette covered, here’s a top-line list of dos and don’ts to help you rock your next interview, courtesy of the Broadreach team.
- DO make sure you know where you’re going.
Planning ahead will ensure you don’t arrive sweaty because you parked a mile away, seven minutes before the interview. A Google map search or a call to ask about parking will help you avoid potential problems.
- DO have your resume, cover letter, and references readily available, in the same format, and tailored for each interview.
Your resume and references need to reflect the job you are applying for. Employers won’t care that you were voted Student of the Month in high school. Nor do they wish to sift through three pages of summer jobs.
DO make sure that you have professionally relevant references. Don’t expect employers to take you seriously if you put your granny on the list.
- DO arrive between 5-7 minutes early.
More than seven minutes prior to your interview will make you appear over-eager. If you arrive early, find a coffee shop and chill (but order decaf—you don’t want to appear jittery). And if you arrive late without calling; you can kiss that opportunity goodbye.
- DON’T appear arrogant.
Be confident in your abilities, but don’t oversell or act as though you are above improvement. Demonstrate an eagerness for learning everything there is to know about the position for which you’re interviewing.
- DO research the company and the local industry scene.
If you’re asked what you like about the company, “You’re hiring so…I applied,” is the wrong answer. Your interviewer will expect you to have a basic understanding of her company, and you’ll score points if you can talk knowledgably about the type of work for which you’re a candidate.
- DO clean up your social media pages before your interview.
Be careful what you post. If you retweet the Yankees and follow all of the players, the Red Sox won’t give you the time of day (excuse the example).
- DON’T be an interview zombie.
Don’t regurgitate generic responses from Interviewing 101. Be candid; demonstrate that you have original thoughts and ideas. When it’s your turn to speak, show your interviewer that in addition to being the right person for the job, you’re also personable. (When I interviewed at Broadreach, Linda and I talked about Michael Crichton for ten minutes).
Do you have any helpful interview tips? Let us know what helped you land your dream job!