Ten Ways to Get Ready for Your Next Interview
By: ©Emtyaz Ahmud
Like preparing a great meal, interviewing requires preparation.
Get good ingredients and give yourself time. Prepare the food on the plate
to make the meal attractive. All of these go into a great meal. Taking the
time to prepare for an interview will give you a huge leg up on your
1. Schedule interviews at times that work for your metabolism. Are you a
morning person? Why would you accept a 6PM interview? If you are a person
who functions best in the afternoon, try not to accept early morning
appointments. If you are a person who needs to be conscious of their blood
sugar, try to schedule your appointments at times when you are at your
peak. If forced to accept one of your less ideal times, have a quick bite
prior to the interview to avoid "fading." Avoid overeating.
2. Give yourself extra time to get to their offices. There are few things
worse than getting to an interview late.
3. Arrive at the office building 7-10 minutes early. If it is summer, you
want to wait in the lobby to cool off; no one likes shaking sweaty hands.
If its winter, warm up; you don't want someone's early impressions of you
formed by shaking a cold hand. Take a few minutes in the lobby to get
focused on what you will say. Allow a few minutes to get through building
security so that you actually arrive at your interview on time and ready to go.
4. Properly introduce yourself to everyone you meet by saying. "My name is
__________ and I have a 1:30 interview with ________________."
5. If you are asked if they can hang your coat, accept the offer; if
offered a beverage, accept a beverage. You don't have to drink coffee or
tea. Soda, bottled water or water is fine. Thank whoever helps you.
Declining the offer may be rude in some cultures.
6. Take your seat in order to face the greatest number of entry points into
the room so tat you can see someone approaching you. Being startled is not
a good way to start a meeting.
7. If you are given an application, complete it and complete it accurately
and neatly. Do not attach your resume and write, "See attached resume." An
application is a legal document and failure to complete it accurately can
be grounds for termination.
8. If you are not sure about the month you started a job or your exact
salary, write "approx" (for the word approximately) next to the item. If
asked, indicate you are not absolutely certain of the exact month and don't
wish to deceive anyone. Obviously, if you can ascertain your salary or
starting date prior to interviewing, do so; for some people, the date or
salary may be so far in the past to make it impossible to determine.
9. Write legibly (or as legibly as you can). This may be the twelfth
application you've completed, but it is the first of yours that they've
seen. In many professions, sloppiness is seen as a flaw.
10. When you hear your name announced, stand, and smile, shake the hand of your interviewer and immediately size them up as a person. Are they smart
(or not). Aggressive (or not). If you were meeting this person socially,
I'm sure your instincts would be right. Unfortunately, because people think
interviews are important, they think they have to feel the interviewer out.
Doing that is a mistake. Hard and fast impressions of you will be formed
during the next ten minutes that will be difficult to change. If you tend
to be right in social situations about the people you meet, trust your
instincts in professional ones, too.
Using these ten steps as a check list will get you started well than your
competition. What you do after that is up to you. Good luck.
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