Whether this is the third interview in your life, or your thirtieth, you need to be prepared. Your resume was the first chance an employer had to “see” you, but the interview is the real test. Plan to arrive about ten minutes before your appointment so you can visit the restroom and put the finishing touches on your appearance. Then sit quietly and take in the atmosphere to get a sense of how it would be to work at that company. Is it calm and quiet or hectic? Does it “feel” friendly or tense? You can learn a lot about an organization without asking any questions.
But the interview begins long before you walk through the front door of a corporation. Research the products, customers, future plans and any news items about the business in as much depth as possible before you go. Based on what you learn, design some questions that can answer issues that arose from your research. You can even create a form to take with you where you can put information about the company next to the questions you want to ask. It’s a good way to keep your information organized, too.
Of course, you’ll have freshly shined shoes and a professional-looking suit or jacket and skirt/slacks. Remember to be fragrance-free and wear minimal jewelry – watch and modest earrings for women, watch for men. It’s always better to be more conservatively dressed, even though you know the dress code is casual. Once you’re hired you can join the jeans club, but for the interview you need to be professional.
As part of your preparation, think of some accomplishments that you can discuss when asked. If you’re prepared, it will take the edge off the interview. A review of the resume by the interviewer will lead to questions about various items on the list of work experiences. Think of situations where you were successful and at least one case where the result was not so positive. You’ll be asked what you did to resolve the situation. If you can think about these before your interview you won’t be caught off guard and maybe say something you really didn’t mean to.
Keep your energy up. Be enthusiastic, confident and poised. Don’t complain about your previous boss or co-workers. Anything negative you say may let the interviewer think you’ll behave that way with them and they may question the decision to offer you a job. You don’t want them to have any negative ideas about you, if possible.
Remember that an interview is an opportunity for you to find out what you need to know about the company, not just for them to find out about you.