Interview Prep Checklist
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You've gotten past the gatekeeper, and landed an interview. Great news! Now, take a few minutes and go through this checklist to make sure everything goes smoothly.
- Critique your resume. If it’s not had an overhaul for a while, consider getting a professional to give it the magic touch.
- Review the job description. Make a list of the attributes and skills the company is looking for.
- Determine how your particular skill set makes you the ideal candidate.
- Carry out company research. Check their website, employee reviews, and articles in industry-specific publications.
- Practice with a mock interview. Family and friends will be happy to help.
- Work out travel logistics. How long will it take you to get there? How will you travel?
- Consider your interview outfit. Make sure it’s job specific.
- Prepare a list of references with contact details.
- Create an up-to-date portfolio of job skills and development.
- Prepare a list of company specific questions that show you’re interested in and have researched the organization.
The day before
- Ensure your interview outfit is clean and pressed.
- Pack an emergency kit, including wipes, tissues, comb or brush, umbrella, lint brush, and breath mints.
- Double-check your route. Do a dry run if necessary.
- Get all your credentials together, including your portfolio, certifications, industry memberships, driver’s license, social security card, and multiple copies of your resume.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
The day of
- Leave home in plenty of time. Arrive at the interview location 10-15 minutes early. Not in town, not in the building, but at the designated interview location. Arriving late is a sure way to make a bad first impression.
- Turn off your cell phone ringer.
- Do not chew gum, eat, or drink during the interview.
- Be polite and friendly to reception staff or whoever meets you before the interview.
- Greet the interviewer by name, shake his or her hand, and introduce yourself.
- Listen and interact with your interviewers. Smile and be aware of your body language.
- Answer all questions honestly.
- Ask your prepared questions that are job and company specific.
- Avoid talking about salary, benefits, or vacations. This can be done after an offer has been made.
- Finish the interview by expressing your desire for the job, asking what the next steps will be, and when they plan to make a decision.
- Ask for business cards from the interviewers to ensure you have contact information.
- Write down key points of the interview as soon as possible.
- Send a thank you note to each of the interviewers within 24 hours. This is your chance to show how interested you are and prove, once again, that you’re the right candidate for the job.
- Follow up if you’ve not heard anything within the time frame discussed.
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