Many people constantly apply for jobs and never hear anything back from the employer. Don’t get discouraged, your phone is going to ring at some point and once it does, you are going to want to be prepared for that interview. Or, maybe you have had an initial Skype interview and now the employer wants to meet you in person.
Let’s face it, first impressions are everything. While you should “be yourself” in an interview, you should also be professional:
· Dress to Impress: According to a new survey by recruiting firm Adecco, 75% of hiring managers believe the top interview mistake millennials make is wearing inappropriate attire (Forbes, 2015). Professionalism is not just about demeanor and a firm handshake, but also appearance. If you are serious about a job, you should look clean and well-groomed from head to toe. Clean fingernails, shined shoes and ironed garments go a long way. Plus, if you feel good about your appearance, your confidence and personality will show throughout your interview.
· Be Punctual: “If you’re on time, you’re late.” You’ve probably heard this saying and assume it is no longer relevant. Wrong. Always arrive to your interview with about 10 minutes to spare. Arriving too early is an inconvenience for the interviewer, but so is arriving late. Appointments are set for a reason and as the candidate; you are expected to be the one who is on time.
· Be prepared: Always bring copies of your resume along with two forms of ID in case the employer needs it. It’s also not a bad idea to bring unofficial college transcripts with you. Leave your phone in the car and bring your Reference’s contact information on a printed piece of paper.
· Sell Yourself: Talk about your strengths and your accomplishments but don’t forget to mention the people who have helped you get to where you are today. Recruiters want to know about your skills and successes but even in the most independent of positions, we still want to know you value team work. No one wants to bring someone to the team that can’t get along with others or adapt to the company’s culture.
· Ask the Right Questions: You have probably heard that it is bad etiquette to ask about pay in an initial job interview. I say, go for it. Everyone works to make a living and if the job doesn’t offer you the necessary compensation or benefits, why waste anyone’s time? There is always a tactful way to ask about the salary range or pay scale. Be assertive. Be confident. If you don’t, the next candidate will.
· Follow-Up: Always follow-up with the people that interviewed you with a “thank you.” We see countless thank you emails, but what really sticks out are those hand written ones that come in the mail. You know, the ones Mom taught you to write after birthday parties and holidays. That life lesson may just land you the job you are hoping for.
Applying and interviewing for jobs can be a tedious, discouraging process. Always stay positive and be ready for that next interview!
Written by Rebecca Atkins, ACL Recruiter