In my Intro to Public Relations class this past week, we discussed positive and negative things to do relating to an interview. These are my top ten:
- Come to the interview prepared. Bring pens, paper, business cards, and knowledge about the company.
- Be early!! Put to use what your mother always told you, “Early is on time, and on time is late.”
- Make sure you turn off your cell phone and any other electronic device that could cause a distraction. If it does happen to ring, don’t make excuses, just apologize, turn the phone off, and continue like nothing happened.
- Think of all of the possible things that could go wrong, and ways to handle each situation. For example, what would you do if you spilled coffee on your shirt?
- Make sure you dress appropriately. Suits are best! For tattoos and piercings, always lean to the conservative side.
- Be ready for any questions they ask you, and also prepare some questions of your own. Some examples are, why are you looking to fill this position, or how did you start in the company?
- Make sure to clearly state your strengths, and focus more on these than your weaknesses.
- Be confident. And know that it is okay to take time to answer questions. It is better to take a few minutes and think of a clear, collected answer, than to just blurt one out.
- If you or anyone you live with is a smoker, be sure to do all you can to not smell of smoke. Get your suit dry cleaned, and keep it somewhere smoke-free. Many employers will make assumptions if they think you smoke… Higher insurance, more frequent breaks to smoke, etc.
- Last but not least, make sure to send out thank you notes to everyone you talk to. Send them electronically as well as on paper. One way to ensure delivery is to get business cards.
I will actually add number 11 because I think it is very important. Make sure you have a firm handshake. This speaks volumes about your character and how confident you are.