Suzanne is the glue that holds Team Optimum RTS together. She wears many hats in our office and her organizational skills are OUTSTANDING!
She goes through 100s of resumes a week and interviews all the candidates. She is the perfect person to discuss the Dos and Don’ts of Interviews! Want to “Kill It” at your next interview? Check out Suzanne’s Words of Wisdom!
Candidates 10 Simple Ways to Kill it in your Interview
1. Do Your Research
Know about the company you are going to see prior to arriving. It is also good to know what position you applied for. Imagine you are searching for Mr or Mrs Right and when you meet they say, “Which one are you again? I’m sorry I’ve just had so many dates this week I can’t remember which one you are… but I’m sure I’m perfect for you!”
2.  Bring A Copy Of Your Resume
Sometimes the resume you thought you submitted is different than the one the employer has. Sometimes the employer doesn’t have your resume on hand. Other times items on your resume need clarification and it would be more helpful for you to follow along on your own copy rather than grabbing their copy to point something out. It is always your responsibility to showcase your abilities. If you don’t end up needing it, no harm done. It’s awkward and definitely a strike against you when you don’t have it.
3. Dress Appropriately
First impressions set the tone for the entire interview. A poor first impression can really hurt your chances of getting across your skills. Be mindful of smells, a little bit goes a long way with cologne or perfume. Don’t wear uncomfortable clothes that distract you (or shoes you can’t walk in). It takes the attention away from what is really important in an interview – your skills.
4. Arrive Early
Find the address, drive by the place ahead of time. Make sure you know where you are going. Sometimes road construction is blocking what is typically an easy path, sometimes your GPS takes you to the wrong location. It is better to figure out these issues the day before rather than the day of or when you are already supposed to be there.
5. Be Polite To The person At The Front Desk
As a general rule being polite to strangers is a good habit. These unassuming front desk people often have the ear of key decision makers. Also, you never know who is covering the front that day. Have you ever watched Undercover Boss?
6.  Silence Your Phone Prior To The Interview – Not During
Don’t wait for your phone to go off during the interview to realize you should have silenced it. Pretending it’s not your phone when it’s ringing is also not helpful. It’s awkward. If you can’t give the employer your attention in an interview, how can they expect anything other than a distracted employee?
7.  Appropriately Strong Handshake
A good handshake is an important part of the first impression. It shows appropriate confidence and professionalism. A weak handshake or a hand crushing aggressive handshake is never going to bar you from a position but for most employers it is a nonverbal red flag (whether they realize it cognitively or not). It’s a very easy way to start any interview/conversation strong.
8.  Don’t Lie
This seems pretty obvious but it happens all too often. This also includes lies of omission. If you have to lie to obtain the position, is that really the kind of company you want to work for? If the company finds out you lied, and they usually do, you will burn a bridge and possibly lose other employment connections.
9.  Thank The Office / Follow-Through
Follow-up Thank you is a solid best practice. Again, this won’t land you the perfect job, but the small things build up when you are up against tough competition for a position. If there is a circumstance where you need to follow-up with more information, transcripts, etc it is important to do so. Ask for a time frame if you are unsure; but do not miss the opportunity to follow-up.
10. Manage Your Expectations
Chances are the interviewer understands that you “NEED A JOB RIGHT NOW.” They need a good match for their company as well. Sometimes very quickly. However, finding a great match is not always a quick process. Be patient and understand that even if you do not fit with their company or the currently available position it is not actually a reflection on you as a person or your employability. Do not take it personally.