Job interviews are scary. When I went to interview at an architecture firm in San Francisco during my college years, I was anxious and didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully, I was prepared. Now, I’m the interviewer of potential employees who will work on Team SOS! It’s crazy how I have come full circle. But since I am an interviewer, I wanted to give you guys some key tips for a successful business interview (including why you should dress appropriately).1. Bring your resume/portfolio. Before you go to the interview, don’t forget your resume/portfolio (for help writing your resume use our resume guide). A lot of times when I interview candidates they forget their resume and I don’t have time to print them out. It also shows you’re prepared.
2. Dress appropriately. If you’re going to a Wall Street firm, wear a suit (like this Topshop black suit). If you’re going to a fashion company and going to be wearing jeans, dress it up to look professional and fashion forward instead of too laid back. I wrote an entire piece on what to wear to job interviews. Depending on where you’re interviewing, dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
3. Be on time. Even if the interviewer is running late, being on time shows me when I interview candidates that they value my time and that speaks volumes.
4. Give a good, firm handshake. Sounds silly, but it does leave a lasting impression.
5. Be positive. A lot of times we are hard on ourselves, myself included, so be energetic at an interview and show you are a positive team player.
6. Explain why you’re a good fit. I know potential employees say why they want to work at a company, but you also have to tell the interviewer why you would be a good fit and how you can be of value to their company. This helps them (and me!) visualize you on the team. Remember, being a good team player goes both ways.
7. Think before you answer a tough question. You don’t have to rush an answer. The interviewer made time for you. You can gather your thoughts before answering a difficult question. Also if you don’t have the answer to the question, come up with a solution instead of,”no”, or, “I don’t know.”
8. Ask questions. Asking questions shows you’re interested in the job and may clear up a few things for you. Don’t be afraid to speak up even if it’s about salary.
9. Thank the interviewer for their time. After you go home from the interview, don’t forget to send a follow up email. A handwritten note is personable and shows you care, but the modern day email will suffice if you think it is more appropriate.
What’s some job interview tips you have?