Cracking the On-site Interview Part II: Master the Interview Basics
By Outside-In® Team Member Zach Werde
This blog is part of a 3-part series on Cracking the On-site Interview. This first part examined “the why” behind when you feel perfectly qualified for a role and extremely confident about your interview performance, but didn’t land the role. Part II introduces the best tips for mastering the interview basics.
After reading Part I: I’m Perfectly Qualified – Why didn’t I Get the Job?, you are probably wondering where is the good news? Or, if there is any good news at all. I am here to tell you that THERE IS! The good news is that even a seasoned professional can improve their interview skills and strategy, and in doing so can set them apart from candidates who are similar and maybe even start to advance them into the category of top-tier candidates, which the company may have initially preferred over them. The best interviewer in the world won’t be able to get every job (perhaps because of some of the reasons mentioned in Part I, but all other factors aside, interviewing better is going to increase your chances of getting a job. It’s a simple fact.
So, let’s address the Interview Basics. These are the givens if you are applying for a professional position:
– Arrive ten to fifteen minutes early (no more or less)
– Wear a full suit or professional dress (not an option, you must do this, even if the environment is casual)
– Bring 3 printed copies of your resume
– Carry your resumes and notepad in a professional binder
– Bring a professional pen (if you are applying for a professional position, a nice pen and binder (as opposed to a notebook and cheap pen) will make you look like a professional on a job interview and not a college student applying for an internship)
– Come prepared with questions (intelligent questions, don’t ask what time lunch is)
– Send a follow up thank you email (within 24 hours, preferably 12 hours)
Yes, these are the baby steps. After all, you have to walk before you can run. This is your interview bible, so to speak. If you aren’t doing these things, you need to slow down and master interview basics before you start working on higher level strategy. Once you’ve mastered these interview basics, you will be ready to take your interview skills to the next level. (Stay tuned for Part III!)