Prepare for your next job interview by familiarizing yourself with common interview questions. Research the organization. Don’t bash your current or previous employer. These are all interview tips you’ve most likely already heard, and so have most others. Give yourself an advantage over the competition with these four rarely mentioned interview tips.
1. Create a fail-safe
Don’t leave anything to chance. There’s often a lot of truth in the expression, “What can go wrong, will go wrong.” If you’ve never been to the interview site, look up directions online and drive there before the day of the interview, presuming that it is local. To gauge traffic patterns, go at the same time you’ll be driving on the interview day. Set a backup alarm to make sure you wake up on time. Even better, place your backup alarm on the other side of the room so you have to walk over to turn it off. Iron or have your interview clothes dry cleaned so you’re presentable when it’s time to go, and take a backup shirt in case you spill coffee or have some other mishap on the way to the interview.
2. Mirror the interviewer
It’s natural to feel nervous about an interview. After all, you’ll be talking to a stranger about something that could greatly affect your life. Mirroring the interviewer will help you feel more relaxed. Take your cues from his or her demeanor, posture and tone. If she wants to chitchat before the actual interview begins, use the time to become more relaxed and allow the interviewer to see you as a real person. If she’s all business, skip the big game recap and get right into why you’re the right person for the job. Just remember, when you do mirror the interviewer, don’t take it too far like this job candidate.
3. Impress everyone, not only the interviewer
Most interview tips focus on what you need to do during the formal interview. Keep in mind, however, that the interviewer isn’t the only person you should be thinking about. Show respect for everyone you meet at the firm — the administrative assistant, potential colleagues and other staff too. Remember that your interview lasts the entire time you’re on the company’s premises so don’t let interview fatigue get the best of you. You may be exhausted, but you still need to make a good impression on everyone you meet.
4. Nail the thank-you note
Job search and interview tips almost always cover every aspect of your cover letter and resume, but not all mention the importance of sending a thank-you note. Most managers say they appreciate hearing from a candidate within 24 hours of the interview. Sending a thank-you note as soon as you get home not only allows you to show genuine interest in the job, but it also helps keep you on the manager’s radar. In an Accountemps survey, 87 percent of managers stated that an email is an appropriate medium for expressing thanks, followed by 81 percent who think a phone call is acceptable. Your thank-you message is a good place to reiterate briefly what you admire about the company and its mission. It’s also the ideal time to review your strengths as they relate to the position. Keep it simple and make sure to proofread.
What are some interview tips you’ve learned along the way but don't find mentioned as often? Let us know in the comments section.