Interview preparation might just be the most important part of getting that job you’ve always wanted. The best resume cannot hide a bad interview, just as a great interview can improve an average resume significantly.
Of course, you don’t know exactly what will await you when the date comes. That makes preparation such a key for success. To help you get there, here are 7 things you should bring to every single job interview:
1. Professional Attire
If you want to get the job, dressing professionally is not optional. Even if you perceive the work culture to be casual, your interview needs to present you in the best and most professional way possible. A badly chosen outfit can sour your interviewers’ opinion about you before you even have a chance to present yourself.
2. Knowledge of the Room
Figuratively speaking, of course. You should try to find out who will interview you before the big day happens, so that you can prepare yourself ideally for the questions you might get. Just as importantly, you can prepare questions for your interviewers that are actually tailored to your audience, which will make you appear more impressive and knowledgeable.
3. Copies of Your Resume
Don’t assume that just because your employer-to-be selected you for an interview, they will know your resume inside and out. Instead, bring enough copies of it for everyone that could potentially speak with you during your visit. Not only will you seem more prepared, but you will also give your interviewers a better idea of yourself while simultaneously giving yourself a better opportunity to introduce yourself to every person in the room.
4. Positive Honesty
Never, ever, exaggerate or lie about your qualifications. As soon as your potential employer finds discrepancies between your statements and your resume or references, your candidacy for the job will be over.
Being honest, of course, does not prevent you from putting yourself in a positive light. In fact, the best way to do that is to approach the process with a smile and be open for any questions you may get.
5. Quantifiable Examples of Success
Employers like candidates who can show and talk about relevant experience. But they love candidates who will prove that during that experience, they have played a major part in helping their company succeed.
Including statistics and quantifiable evidence of your successes at your past jobs, such as customer happiness or percentages of sales calls closed, proves that you are qualified for your job and know how to be a positive contributor to your employer.
6. Explanations for Resume Gaps
Perfect resumes are difficult to find. And yet, candidates with imperfect resumes, and even resumes with significant gaps, continue to find jobs. Why? Because they know how to honestly and convincingly explain those gaps.
For example, if your interviewer asks about your time gap between two jobs, talk about the volunteer experience or professional development opportunities you may have gotten during that time. The more confident you are that you have made good use of your gaps, the more convinced your interviewers will be.
7. Your Best Self
Finally, bring yourself. But not the version of yourself that gets up early Monday mornings not ready for anything before two cups of coffee. Instead, channel your best self, the version that is looking forward to a new opportunity and will work hard to get there. The more confident, positive, and good-natured you are, the more that perception will catch on with your future employer.
When you take on a job interview, particularly if it’s for a job you’ve always wanted, bringing your A game is crucial. Thorough preparation breeds confidence, the best possible characteristic for the interview process. For more tips and tricks on interviewing and getting your next job, contact us.