As Will Rodgers said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Nothing could be more true during a job interview. While there are multiple factors that go into whether someone is hired or not, research shows it takes just three seconds for someone to determine whether they like you and want to do business with you.
Before your next interview, read these tips to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.
Dress the Part
People may not like to hear it, but how you dress in an interview can matter. While no one will judge you for not wearing designer or high-end clothing, they will be put off if you show up too casual, since it will come off as you not being that serious about the opportunity. Even if the office has a laid back environment, show up dressed at least one to two levels above what the standard employee wears.
Research the Organization
No one will expect you to have the company’s entire history or board of directors memorized, but they want to know that you are at least interested enough in the company to have done your basic research. Researching the company will also give you things to talk about with your interviewer such as recently released products, a creative social media campaign, or a fun company outing.
Show You’re a Good Fit for the Job and the Company
In person interviews usually have two goals; find the person most qualified for the role and, ideally, find someone who will fit in with the company’s culture. After all, we spend most of our waking week surrounded by our colleagues so it’s always great if everyone gets along on a professional level. You can show you’re a good fit for both the company and job by sharing concrete examples and using your story telling abilities to give more color to your work and personality.
Follow Up After the Interview
Sending a thank you email after an interview may not make or break your chances of getting the job, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. It’s a great opportunity to say thank you to the individuals who took the time to meet with you while also reiterating your qualifications and enthusiasm for the job.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Make sure you’ve thought of answers for the common interview questions and always keep a few stories or case studies in your back pocket. Practicing some of your most common answers will also allow you to refine what you are saying and can help you identify if there are any areas you aren’t emphasizing enough.
Show Up Early, but Not Too Early
Usually 10 to 15 minutes early is the sweet spot. It allows you to relax and get yourself situated before meeting with your interviewer, but also doesn’t make the interviewer feel pressured to entertain you if you show up too early.
Treat Everyone You Encounter with Respect
This includes everyone you come in contact with leading up to and after your interview. Once you are on the way to the interview location, expect that anyone you encounter should be treated as if they are the hiring manager, after all, they may be asked to give feedback on their encounter with you.
Take a breath, smile, if you’ve made it to the in-person interview you’re already more than halfway there.