Once you send a resume out, there’s no telling when you’ll get a call back or if you ever will. Because of this, some people might not even bother to prepare for an interview until they are certain one is in the works.
Not being prepared is never a good way to go. Most hiring managers will schedule interviews in advance but if they’re in a hurry to get the position filled they might schedule one for the very next day. And if you’re resume or application says that you’re ready to begin ASAP then why shouldn’t they expect you to be ready at a moment’s notice?
If you woke up tomorrow would you have the appropriate attire and necessary documents ready to go? The following items are essential for any job seeker to prepare themselves for anything that comes up in their job search:
Dress clothes. While you might have them in your closet, you should double check that they are clean and ready to wear. That means no holes, tears and fits like it should. You might not have time after their call or before the interview to stop by the mall and pick up some new digs.
Questions to ask. Whether you had a day or a week to prepare for your interview you should always have questions ready to ask the interviewer. These shouldn’t be run of the mill questions that you can find anywhere online. Do a bit of research and ask questions that will pertain the company. Interviewers enjoy being asked questions that are thoughtful and show genuine interest.
Answers for touchy questions. There might be some things you know the interviewer is bound to bring up that you’d rather not talk about. Knowing you’ll have to anyway, better equip yourself with the best possible answers. If you were fired or out of work for a long period of time, provide an answer that doesn’t seem like an apology or an excuse. Simply explain your situation while exuding a positive attitude about the situation. Bitterness and negativity are always a turn-off for hiring managers.
Your selling points. No matter who you’re talking to, you want to be able to point out the things about you that make you a desirable candidate. Don’t expect the interviewer to pull this information out of you. They might ask you surface questions to get to know you better but it’s up to you to really convince them that you are the right choice. Hiring managers also love good stories.
Plan for following up. Follow up plans are pretty basic but you should always have one if you don’t already. Thank you notes are an essential part of the interview process. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t take the time to solidify their own standing with a hiring manger. These should be personal and reflect on points made during the interview. Did you and the hiring manager discover that you share something in common? Mention that in the note as well.
Keep a stack of Thank You notes that aren’t too flashy so that you can send them to any company. Another important thing to remember is to spell everything accurately. The hiring manager will feel reassured that you can proofread both on the computer and on paper.