Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview. Whether this is your dream job or an important stepping stone to get there, you’ve made it past all the other applicants for a coveted chat with your potential employer.
Interviews can certainly be nerve-wracking, but with the right preparation, you’ll be well on your way to landing the job. Here are some quick do’s and don’ts as you prepare.
- DO dress the part, even if it’s virtual. While many of us have been living in our most causal at-home clothes for the greater part of the pandemic, now’s the time to take your outfit up a notch. Though the level of “formalness” depends on the job you’re interviewing for, consider a clean suit jacket or blazer, a nice top and some dress pants or skirt (no jeans!).
- DO know your stuff. Before your interview, learn all that you possibly can about the company you’re applying to. Scan through their website to find their mission and goals. Take a look at their social media channels to see what they’re posting. Call out some of these findings during your interview to show you’ve done your research.
- DO practice your responses. Unfortunately, you likely won’t have the exact interview questions beforehand. But you can prepare a handful of responses for common interview questions, such as tell me about yourself, why do you want this job? and what are your strengths and weaknesses? Be genuine in your answers, but use these responses to prove that you’ll be a great employee.
- DON’T be late. Things happen. But being late to an interview is a huge red flag for an employer because, first, it’s disrespectful of the interviewer’s time and, second, it gives the impression you could be unreliable as an employee. If your interview is in person, plan to get there at least 10 minutes ahead of schedule; online, make sure you’re logged on (and that your technology works) at least five minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin.
- DON’T ignore your social channels. Because we live in a highly social media-focused age, you’re likely very mindful of your social media presence. However, don’t forget it’s not just your friends who visit your pages. Potential employees are likely to scan your social platforms to get a feel for who you are and what you stand for. Before your interview, be sure to clean up any disparaging posts, comments or photos (watch for curse words) on your platforms.
- DON’T criticize: Even if you’re interviewing for a new job because you HATE where you’re currently working, hold any criticism when asked why you’re leaving. You’re there to talk about what you can offer this company. Talking negatively about a previous employer just makes you look bad. Project good vibes during the interview by focusing on the positive things you did at your previous job.
Interviews are a great opportunity to show your personality to the employer, and determine if the job is the right fit for you. If you stick to these do’s and don’ts, you’ll be headed to that new company in no time.