Updated: Apr 20, 2022
1. Prepare your responses for common interview questions. An online search will bring up a list of possible options along with the best approaches for answering each one.
2. Be careful what you post on social media. Potential employers will often look up a candidate to determine whether they are an appropriate match for the company and its values.
3. Practice! If you aren’t great at speaking under pressure, practicing in the mirror or with family and friends can help you become more confident.
4. Dress for success.(1) Wear professional business attire. Good choices include blazers, button-down shirts, blouses, dress pants, classic dresses, suits, and ties. Cardigans and sweaters can be worn to create a more business casual look. Don’t wear bright, flashy colours/accessories, perfume, or cologne. Keep a professional, well-groomed, neat, and tidy appearance.
5. Arrive on time. If you’re not sure of the route or how long it will take with traffic, you can make the trip a few days beforehand to practice.
6. Turn your cellphone off! You don’t want it interrupting your interview.
7. Be friendly to all staff you come in contact with. These could be your future co-workers!
8. If your interview is online, make sure to test your technology ahead of time to avoid technical difficulties. Also, be sure that your background is professional and neutral. Avoid showing messes and clutter. Remember to look at the camera and not at another screen.
9. Use professional body language: shake hands, look them in the eye, sit up straight, and speak clearly.
10. Bring a printed copy of your resume, cover letter, and references. If the interview is online, have the documents open and ready.
11. Ask the permission of your references before giving out their contact information. It is also best to let them know to expect a call if you are up for a job position. This will give them time to prepare.
12. Know the company. What makes them different? What is their mandate? In the interview, be prepared to state what you love about the company. Referencing specific projects or programs the company created will make you look up-to-date on their agenda and passionate about their goals.
13. You will often be asked if you have any questions at the end of the interview. The answer should always be “yes!” Prepare a couple of thoughtful and specific questions about the company or job position ahead of time.
14. Have a good attitude. It’s important to showcase your experience and explain to the interviewer how you can be a benefit to the company, but it is also important to balance this with a willingness to learn and gain experience.
15. Send a follow-up email. Within 24 hours of the interview, remember to thank the person you spoke with. Be sure to customize the email with something you discussed.
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The Balance Careers—The Best Outfits for Job Interviews, 2020