This is a continuation of PSCI Prep – an ongoing series of blog posts designed to help walk job seekers through the interview process. Parts 1 and 2, which focus on phone and video interviews, can be found here.
So you’ve made it past the initial interviewing rounds and the company wants a chance to sit down with you in person. Congratulations! Receiving the call for a face-to-face interview is no small feat; the majority of candidates never make it past the initial phone call. So, below, we’ve outlined a few tips to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward during the all-important, and most likely, final stage of the interview rounds.
Much of our advice for succeeding in a face-to-face interview are much the same for acing a video interview or even acing a phone interview: dress professionally; do your homework and be prepared to talk about your knowledge of the company; try your best to relax and put forth a confident demeanor; listen intently to the interviewer while they’re speaking and be sure to never interrupt them; and upon completion of the interview, follow-up with them to express your gratitude and desire to join their team.
But let’s not stop there:
Be On Time – Strive to arrive at least 15 minutes early to the interview. This will allow you to compose yourself, use the restroom, and decompress before what typically can be a stressful situation. It also, more importantly, demonstrates that you’re diligent and dependable, indicates that you honor your commitments and can be trusted, and shows that you have respect for other people’s time.
Pay Attention to Your Body Language – Good body language is key and it manifests itself in a few different ways. First, be sure to maintain good eye contact. If there are multiple interviewers, make sure you’re scanning the room to include everyone, focusing in on each individually. Second, greet everyone with a firm, confident handshake. And third, lean forward while sitting which conveys interest and excitement – two things the interviewer(s) will be on the lookout for.
Smile – While this can fall into the category of body language, it’s so important that it needs its own call out. Smiling not only makes your voice more pleasant sounding, it also conveys confidence. It will also make you appear approachable, friendly and more composed.
Bring Extra Resumes – The interviewer has of course seen your resume but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have extra copies on hand. So bring those extra copies and hand them to each interviewer as well as to anyone else that you may meet. You always want to look prepared.
Ask for Business Cards – If you have your own, you can hand them (along with your resume) to each person you meet, but it’s also important to ask for them in return. This way you can keep track of each person you met with, as well as their contact information, so that when the interview is over you’ll be able to reach out and thank each of them individually. If they don’t have a business card on them, be sure to make a note of their name and title (plus contact information if you can get it).
DO NOT(S) – This may be our final piece of advice but it could just as well be our first. NEVER eat, drink or smoke anything immediately before the interview. You don’t want to be remembered as the person with bad breath who has food stuck in their teeth, smells of cigarettes, or has to get up every 15 minutes to relieve themselves in the bathroom. So plan your meals, and actions, for that day accordingly.
We cannot guarantee that by following the above advice that you’ll be a shoo-in for the job, but we can assure you that if you do follow this advice you’ll be leaving an indelible mark on the interviewer(s), making the decision not to offer you the job an incredibly difficult one to make.