You have prepared your cover letter and résumé, sent them in, and the hiring manager wants an interview with you. What now? Dress Professionally
What NOT to Bring to the Interview
- Conservative two-piece business suite (dark blue or grey)
- Conservative long-sleeved shirt/blouse
- Clean polished conservative shoes
- Well-groomed hair
- Clean, trimmed fingernails
- Light briefcase or portfolio case
- Cell phone
- Coffee or soda
- If lots of piercings, leave some at home. Earrings only is a good rule
- Cover tattoos
- It's best to arrive ten minutes early for the interview.
- If you are unsure of the interview location, try to find it a few days before your interview.
Brush Up on Your Soft Skills
- Be able to discuss your skills, interests and job targets.
- Research the company before the interview
- Become familiar with the services provided by the company and how you can make them better.
- Learn what you can about the person who will be conducting the interview with you.
- Be ready for some difficult questions.
- Rehearse answers to potential questions with a friend or family member so that you'll feel more comfortable the day of the interview.
- Be ready to ask questions about the position or company based on your research.
- Don't ask about salary, vacations, benefits, bonuses or retirement on an initial interview unless you're sure the employer is interested in hiring you.
If you're asked about the salary you want, give a range based on your research of the job market.
Send a Thank You
- Smile and shake hands firmly.
- Sit up, be alert and interested at all times.
- Look the hiring manager in the eye while speaking.
- Communicate what you want the hiring manager to know effectively.
- Don't answer with a simple "yes" or "no" ... explain your answer when possible.
- If you don't understand a question or need a moment to think — say so.
- Be sincere and truthful.
- Send a thank you letter promptly.
- Hand write it to make it more sincere and personal.
- Mention specifics from the interview that really made you want to get more involved with the company.
- Send it to the attention of the interviewer.
* Sources: "101 Dynamite Answers to Interview Questions," Drs. Caryl and Ronald Krannich, and "How to Get Ahead in Accounting and Finance," Robert Half International Inc.