The IN-PERSON Job Interview
Tips for the In-Person Interview:
1) Dress appropriately. You are about to meet someone who is undoubtedly meeting and interviewing countless candidates for the same one position. You can stand out from everyone else not only by your professional resume (showing that you take pride in yourself), but also by your professional appearance (showing that you take pride in yourself). Even if you are applying for a job that does not require direct customer contact, if you present yourself in a professional, clean manner, you are establishing a positive first impression that can lead to many opportunities for advancement and trust in the future with your new employer. If you are male, wear pressed slacks (tan color is neutral and appropriate), a clean bright white shirt, and a well-fitted sport coat. Do NOT wear your old leisure suit or any article of clothing with rips, stains, or that no longer fits your current shape! Invest in a nice pair of neutral-colored pants, a white cotton shirt, a nice tie, a sharp sport coat, and a nice pair of shoes that you save and use only for your interviews and special occasions. If you are female, you can’t go wrong with a simple black pant suit, sharp shoes that are clean and have good heels, and minimal accessories.
2) Do NOT smoke or drink alcohol at least 24 hours before your interview; often unbeknownst to the smoker or drinker – WE CAN SMELL THAT ON YOUR breath and through the pores of your skin!
3) Do NOT chew gum during the interview.
4) Do NOT go on the interview with friends, family members, or girl/boyfriends. If they come with you (for whatever reason), have them stay outside the building or in the car.
5) Greet, remember the name of, and be extra pleasant to the receptionist or office person who firsts meets you and will introduce you to the person hiring you. Often times, after the itnerviews are done for the day, the HR peson will ask the receptionist her overall first-impression from each candidiate. Watch what you say in the waiting room area!
6) Do your homework. Read about the company to find out what they manufacture, how long they have been in business, and/or who their biggest competitors are. When your prospective employer asks you if you have any questions, don’t say, “What does your company do?!”
7) Have a firm handshake and look the people in the eyes.
Be sure to get a business card from everyone who interviews you; this way, you will have the correct name, spelling, title, and address for your thank you notes!
9) If/when you are offered the job, I rarely recommend accepting the offer during the first interview. You need time to think about it. Did you ask about benefits? Do you have to work 2 years before you get a week off? Is this the place you want to spend 40+ hours a week?
10) A standard question asked during an interview is “What is a weakness you have?” Prepare your answer for this before you go on the interview. Select a weakness that can be then turned around to be a strength. For example, instead of saying that you tend to pass out every night from drinking too much and are then often late for work in the morning, you can come up with a much better weakness that won’t raise a flag. “I tend to be a perfectionist and expect nothing but the best from my team; if they don’t produce it, I tend to do it myself to ensure it is right.” That’s a weakness because you can’t delegate and empower others to work for/with you, but it is a strength because you will go that extra mile to ensure what is expected of you/your team will get accomplished.
11) Leave behind your professional list of references with the person who interviews you (a reference sheet that matches your professional resume); it’s a great closure – as you take the sheet out of your folder, you can say, “Feel free to contact these references!”
12) Put your smartphone away and shut it off before you enter the building. Do not text, answer calls, or make calls at any point once you enter the building.
13) Send a thank-you note - even if you don’t want the job.
One of the most important things to keep in mind during this whole interviewing process is that YOU ARE INTERVIEWING THEM too! Ask yourself the following questios before accepting any job offer:
Do I want to work for this employer, at the pay rate they are offering me?
If I take this job, am I going to be spending my time still sending out resumes?
Am I only taking this job because they offered it?
If you have any questions about the interview process, contact us 24/7 at (216) 475-2963.