In school, you probably had a “cheat sheet” of sorts to review before your exams – just to refresh your brain on the little things. Treat your interviews the same way. Here are 10 important interview prep steps to review before the big day:
1. Research The Employer
Find out what they are doing. What are their issues? Google them, read business press, niche publications, local papers – everything you can find. As you’re reading this stuff, be thinking only one thing: How can I help them?
2. Research The Interviewer And The Hiring Manager
Google them, read their bios on LinkedIn, Spoke, wherever. Do they write a blog? Did they post a comment somewhere? Take notes, and figure out what it is about this person you will like.
3. Dress One Level Up From The Interviewer
Jeans environment? Wear khakis. Business casual? Wear a sport coat and tie. Guys, iron your shirt. Girls, you are on your own here. I think you know.
4. Make A Memorable Appearance
Be extra sharp. Tie your tie perfectly. Shine your shoes.
5. Don’t Overdo The Cologne (Or Perfume)
Guys. This is a big one. I know you love your cologne. Trust me, the days of slathering yourself up with “Polo, OMG I Stink Good” are over (since the Senior Prom, in fact).
6. Lose The Gum
I don’t care if you think no one can tell you are chewing it. They can.
7. Leave Your Phone Turned Off (Better Yet, In The Car)
Don’t even think you can sneak one more text in before you get called in.
8. Practice Smiling
Seriously. Everyone looks better when they smile. Hey, if you are a humorless dolt and look like it, I am not hiring you. No matter what.
9. Shake Hands Correctly
Look people in the eye. Take notes. Look engaged in life and in the job interview. Be “cool” somewhere else.
10. Be Ready For The Common Interview Questions
And explain why and how you can help me. (BTW, practicing the answers to these questions in front of the mirror is a legal activity.)