When you’ve landed an interview for a job that you want, you take that interview seriously. You don't want to just impress the hiring manager, you want to totally knock their socks off. You want to be that irresistible candidate that the company can’t wait to have join their team.
While we for sure know that you've prepared and are armed with sharp answers to interview questions you'll likely be asked there are a few other things you can do to increase your chances of being hired.
Now we're going to arm you with four seemingly simple but powerful actions that will score you positive points. That's because these things are easily overlooked by candidates, but are important to employers. Read on, and be ready to rock on your next interview.
Arrive on time.
This may seem like a no brainer but you’d be surprised by how many people arrive late to job interviews.
Showing up on time is a simple way to show employers that you are serious about the job. That you are interested in the company. And that you care about their time. But most of all, it also demonstrates that you can show up to a meeting on time. So that boosts confidence that you’ll also show up to work on time. Which is pretty important to employers.
Now, when we say show up on time we actually mean get there early. Yep, early.
As a word of caution, you don't want to be too early. We’re not saying show up 2 hours before your interview time. But give yourself at least 30 minutes or so depending on where you are going. You’ll want to make sure there’s enough time to find parking, find the interview location and also fill out any paperwork the employer requests, all before the interview start time.
That means if your interview is at 11am, you need to arrive early enough to park, walk to the interview location and fill out paperwork before 11am.
So to recap arriving on time means getting to your interview destination about 20 to 30 minutes before your scheduled interview time. We're doing this because shows your future (🤞) employer you:
These are things that will make you stand out to any employer. And of course, make them want to hire you over the competition.
Dress like you want the job.
Before you open your mouth, people notice how you look. You don’t have to say a single word. Your appearance has recited an entire novel. This may not be popular, but we’re going to say it anyway. Your appearance matters.
Still don't believe that what you wear to an interview is a big deal? Let's consider this.
If you run into a friend at the coffee shop and they are wearing sweatpants, a tank top, holding a basketball. Do they have to tell you they are heading to the park to shoot some hoops? Absolutely not. Their outfit said it for them.
What about if your aunt meets you for lunch. She’s wearing a pantsuit and high heels holding a briefcase. Does she have to tell you that she just came from work? Nope. Her outfit tells you before she takes the first sip of sweet tea.
The same goes for you when you walk into a business for a job interview. The people you encounter. The person who interviews you. What you wear is telling a story to everyone you meet. The good news is that you get to decide what story that is.
We’re not saying to pull out a three piece suite. But you should dress in a way that sends a positive message about you. You also want to dress in line with the company dress code. If the company has a business dress code, that’s what you should wear. If they are business casual, that goes for you too. If you’re not sure, or maybe it’s a service type business dress pants, khakis and a polo shirt may be a good option.
We know you may be thinking this is only a job as a janitor. Or a cashier. Or a warehouse worker. Is it really that big of a deal what I show up to an interview wearing? Yes. It does. Plan an interview outfit that tells the story you want to tell.
Confirm your interview
There's been a recent phenomenon of job applicants not showing up for interviews. It may seem strange but it happens. It probably has happened to your potential employer. And because of that he or she may have a nagging feeling that you may not show up either. They may be wrong in this case. You’d never do that. But once burned, always suspicious.
You can though use this past negative experience to your advantage. How? By reaching out to confirm your interview the day before. Because it's likely that the person meeting with you has been stood up for an interview in the past, when you take the extra step to confirm your interview, it puts them at ease. He or she will have some warm and fuzzy feelings toward you when you show up. You’re the person who cared enough to reassure them that you’d be there. Who doesn't like someone like that? In just a few minutes, you’ve started to build trust before you’ve even met.
Here’s how we’re going to do this. It literally will take less than five minutes. We suggest reaching out to confirm your interview by email or voicemail. The goal is to send a message that you’re serious, but not disrupt their day. If you have an email address, send a message like this:
Hi [Interviewer’s Name],
I’m really looking forward to our upcoming interview for the pastry check opportunity. I value your time, so I wanted to confirm our interview for tomorrow at 2pm.
If anything has changed or you need to reschedule, please let me know. Otherwise, I will see you tomorrow at 2pm.
As another option, you can always leave a voicemail. If you’re calling a larger company you can simply ask to be transferred to the person’s voicemail. Keep in mind, unless you direct yourself to the person’s voicemail, you may get them on phone. Not to worry, the same script will work whether you’re leaving a voicemail or talking to them directly. Just keep it brief and you’ll be fine.
To leave a voice may, try saying something like this:
“Hey Jane! It’s Carla Wise. I’m just reaching out to make sure that we are still on for the interview tomorrow at 2pm. I’m really looking forward to meeting with you to talk about the pastry chef position. If everything is still on, no need to return my call .But if you do need to reach me my cell is 904-123-456-7890. I’ll see you tomorrow at 2pm. Have a great day.”
Just to land the plane on this topic. We’re going to confirm our interview 24 hours in advance because it:
Trust us, you will score major points for taking this small action.
Ask Thoughtful Questions
Usually at the end of an interview, you'll be asked if you have any questions. Since this is a transition to wrap up the meeting, this is your last chance to make the interviewer feel that they absolutely must have you on the team. Especially if you've done all the other things we've shared.
So how do you seal the deal?
Ask one or two thoughtful questions that are focused on the business. Questions that also show you’re focused on growing with and contributing to the company.
Not sure what to ask? We got you. Here are three questions that will be impressive to your interviewer:
A word of advice here. Asking questions can be a good way to give you a leg up against other candidates. But make sure that the questions are centered on the business and what and how you can contribute if hired. If you do that, you’ll set yourself up as a standout, must hire candidate.
Now you're ready to knock your future boss's socks off and land that job. Go get em'!