An interview is what stands between you and a job offer. Making the right professional impression from the start will help you start on the right foot. What are the most important things to know when meeting with a potential employer for the first time face-to-face or over a video conference? Here are five interview tips that can help you leave a good impression.
Interview Tips That Can Help Improve Your Chances
Show Up on Time
The most important thing you can do for an interview is to show up on time. If you can, be a few minutes early for an in-person meeting. But you need to balance that with not being too early. About ten minutes will be fine. For a video interview, always test the platform before your call and be ready to join the call precisely on time. This is the best first impression you can give.
Use Professional Language
Using professional language doesn’t mean you can only speak in industry jargon, but it does mean you need to be able to communicate effectively. Professionalism is about being kind and polite, clear and concise, and maintaining business-appropriate language. That doesn’t mean you can’t show your personality but don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to say in a professional setting.
Dress for Success
While a three-piece suit is no longer necessary for most jobs, you still want to dress for success. For men, that typically means a shirt and tie, though you may be able to skip the suit coat. A professional top, slacks, or a skirt will be suitable for women. Keep accessories to a minimum, and avoid fragrances if you’re meeting in person. However, if the interviewer tells you a dress code for the interview, follow their instructions.
Do your research a day or so leading up to your interview. Review the job description and cross reference your resume so you can talk about your experience and how you will be a good fit for them. Research the company, so you know what they do. Check out the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile to learn more about the organizational culture.
There is one more critical step that happens after your interview. It’s time to send a thank-you note. Today, an email following your interview is considered acceptable. Compose an email that thanks the interviewer for their time and reiterates your interest in the position. Be sure to ask when they plan to make a decision. This is also an opportunity to provide additional information you might have missed or forgotten to share in the interview.