Thursday, February 23, 2012

Interview Preparation Checklist

You have done your homework, prepared for all the possible interview questions, and decided what to wear the day of the interview. However, no matter how much advance preparation you make, if you are not ready the day of the interview, it will all be for nothing.

Here is a checklist of what you should do to prepare yourself for the day of the interview.

What to take with you to the interview:
  • Multiple copies of your resume. Be sure to take enough copies for everyone that may be interviewing you as well as a few extras just in case. Make sure you take the same resume you sent to obtain the interview. Print your formatted resume on high-quality resume paper so it is pleasing to the eye.
  • Note paper and pen. You probably will not be asked to fill out an application by hand in today's technology-centered workplace. However, be prepared just in case with a pen and all the information you will need to complete an application. Also, take note paper to write down details of the interview, interviewer name, and any interesting facts you learn about the job in the interview. These notes can be used when writing your thank you letter.
  • Traveling directions. Not only should you take traveling directions, you should also take a "dry run" driving to the interview locations at the same time as your interview to evaluate traffic conditions. Leave yourself extra time - and plan an alternate route - for unforeseen circumstances such as traffic jams or road closures.
  • Questions you are going to ask. Use this previous blog post to develop your interview questions. Write them down and take them with you to the interview.
Last minute preparation tips:
  • Arrive ten minutes early. You should arrive no sooner than 20 minutes early and no later than 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Arriving right on-time is almost equivalent to being late.
  • Leave your troubles at home. The interviewer does not want to hear about your nasty divorce or your worries that if you don't get a job, you will be evicted. The employer wants to hire someone who will not bring their personal problems to work. The interview is your chance to demonstrate that trait.
  • Research the company in advance. You should know everything about the company: its mission statement, its competitors, and how you can add value to the business. Prepare your answer to the question "why do you want to work here" by conducting advance research.

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