Dressing the part:
Men should wear dress shoes, long sleeve shirt with tie and jacket. Women should wear a modest length dress or skirt, jacket, low heels and a simple jewelry piece. For both sexes, shoes should be clean; clothes pressed and clean (no stains). No perfume or cologne, some people are highly sensitive to smells and may find it offensive. Hair and nails should be clean and trimmed. Dressing the part will make you feel confident.
Preparing before the interview:
Every company should have a web site where you can gather information about the company. Being able to talk to the interviewer about the company’s motto, history and exactly what the company does can be invaluable. Know what the position pays, there are different websites to see what your position pays in your area, this can come in handy if asked what you expect to earn. Do a practice run to the company the day before, to insure you know where you are going and where to park. Clean up your social media site such as Facebook (yes some employers will check).
Arrive at least ten minutes prior to your interview; being late will almost always put you in last place. From the very first person you meet upon interview day, whether it is the receptionist, maintenance man or a random person in the parking lot, you need to be polite and professional. I once met the interviewer in the parking lot, though I did know he was the interviewer, I smiled and greeted him. Later he told me that I had presented myself well.
Materials to take with you:
Pen, pad of paper, copy of your resume on quality paper, references and your calling card. If possible carry these items in a clean briefcase or a clean manila folder. Be organized and ready to take notes and give extra copies of your resume and references’ if asked. Have your notes ready on what you know about the company, and any questions you will want to ask the interviewer.
During the interview:
Be positively sure you have turned you phone off before entering the building, you don’t want Miley Cyrus belting out “We Can’t Stop” all over the office. Make eye contact upon entering the room, shake hands with each person and wait to be asked before seating. Sit up straight and pay close attention to your interviewer, be engaged; smile, nod, think and act positive. During the interview at some point the interviewer will ask you questions. Always keep your answers short and simple. It is proven that most people will cease to listen after a minute or two, so concise and short answers are the best. Upon the conclusion of the interview, always shake hands once again and thank them for their time. Ask for a business card so you will have contact information for the interviewer.
Post interview send a short and precise thank you note to the interviewer. Include your business card if you have one or hand write your information under your signature. If you have not heard from the interviewer in the time allotted, it is acceptable to follow up with a phone call; even if you have to leave a voice mail.
The keys to a successful interview and landing the job are preparation and confidence. Following the above simple steps will greatly improve your chances of success.