Over the years, I’ve collected a surprisingly long list of things you can do–or not do–that can make or break an interview. I selected the ones that I think are the most important and impactful. I recommend that candidates take the time to review this list both at home as well as shortly before going into an interview.
✔ Show up on time. If you do not know for sure how long it will take to get there, better to be early and sit in your car for 15 minutes.
✔ Go to the company’s website and familiarize yourself with their business.
✔ Come with questions to show that you have prepared for the interview.
✔ Be prepared to state how your skills and experience will contribute to the goals of the company. Note: employers like to save money, make money, reduce waste and increase efficiency, just to name a few.
✔ Turn off your cell phone during the interview (or at least have it on vibrate).
✔ Re-familiarize yourself with your resume and be prepared to answer questions about it. For example, if they ask you about a project you did some years back, you should be able to answer questions about it.
✔ Be prepared to explain large gaps between employment dates.
✔ Don’t be critical of past employers and coworkers (huge interviewer turn-off).
✔ Be prepared to explain terminations in a manner that is not critical of past employers or coworkers.
✔ Express your interest in the role and the company. Employers are drawn to candidates who genuinely appear to like their company and the role.
✔ Remember to speak slowly and clearly, especially if you tend to speak quicker when you are nervous, or if English is not your stronger language.
✔ Bring a pen and portfolio to take notes. Avoid using a laptop or mobile phone for note taking during an interview.
✔ Bring additional copies of your resume for the interview.
More times than not the interview process comes down to a choice between two equally qualified candidates. How you handle the above could mean the difference between winning or losing the job.