Between 1 and 2 weeks before your interview ...
Research is critical. The dream is knowing more about what's happening in the company than the Interviewer. Sometimes just listen to the local news, check online, visit their website for news, etc. These people are too busy to keep up with the company so that slips off their radar. But if you don't know anything that's a BAD MARK.
If you are computer savy and it is a publically traded company (the company stock is available on the markets), go to www.SEC.gov and use their tool called EDGAR. Knowing only the company name you can five into their legal filings (where you MUST tell the truth) and learn what's going on. And it's all free!
Having this insight shows genuine interest especially when an employee of 20 years knows less than you do! They'll want to keep you just for your updates!
2. Prepare your questions
When if you have any questions, be loaded and ready to roll! This shows interest and desire to learn more. Ask about the company, how they manage people, who is in the team and their skills, how reviews are conducted, what would be their objectives for the first 90 and 180 days. You can go to the softer side and ask if you can meet some of their team and if the team goes to lunch together and if you might be able to join (if you have the time). That will surprise and impress a hiring manager.
3. Practice your interview technique
Prior to the interview think about how you can best demonstrate your skills and experiences in an interview. This can make you feel more confident on the day. If you’ve been asked to give a presentation as part of the interview process, give it a final run-through, make sure you’ve got prompt cards, and try to make it as compelling as possible.
Spend time prior to the interview working out how you’ll get there. Look up public transport routes and timetables, or find out where you can park. Plan how long the journey will take. Do a practice run, if necessary. Aim to arrive about 15 minutes early. Make sure you know where to enter the company property from, if you need to show ID to a Security Guard, where you park, possible signs of pending road construction slowing you down, what building to enter and using what door.
Clear your calendar for a day or two before and after the interview, so you can stay fully focused on the event. In order to give the interview your total attention, you don’t want to be preoccupied with other things that need doing that day. And wear appropriate clothing, no smoking, no perfume, no cologne, no music, no food. If you need or want water, ask for that before you go into the interview otherwise you lose valuable interviewing time.
Get to bed early and fully prepared to pick things up and start your traveling. Don’t cram any last minute interview preparation in just before bedtime, as this could disrupt your sleep. Relax before bed to ensure you get a restful night’s slumber, so you’re firing on all cylinders the next day.
7. Eat a healthy breakfast/lunch
Eat normally but aim for slow-releasing carbohydrates prior to your interview, such as porridge for breakfast or wholemeal sandwiches for lunch. These will keep your energy levels topped up for longer, so you stay alert and don’t suffer any energy slumps during the interview. NO ALCOHOL as it will impact your performance and raise suspicions if they smell it.
MUSIC AND SCENTS are two of the most powerful memory triggers. Do not bring back something that was a bad memory for them as it will impact you.
No matter how much they try, it is something they can't put aside. Don't let
them be thinking about that no good bum of a cheating spouse they had as they listen to you talk.
8. Stay calm and confident
Naturally, nerves will begin to kick in, but try to stay calm and confident. Take deep breaths and practice positive, self-affirmation thoughts in your mind. If you’ve done adequate research, you shouldn’t have anything to fret about.
Think through the interview: create visions on how it will all come out in the end as this can help calm fears and raise your energy to knock them dead with your performance.
Give your research and preparation a final glance before the interview, to keep it fresh in your mind. Now isn’t the time to be doing any new research. Looking at a bulletin board in the lobby is a quick potential for new info.
10. Don’t forget printouts
Make sure you’ve got printouts of your CV with you, as well as any other supporting information, like references or a portfolio. Pop a notepad and pen in your bag just in case you need to write anything down.
Make sure you dress appropriately for the job interview. You must look professional. Try checking out the LinkedIn profiles of the company’s employees to get an idea on how they dress. Don’t leave ironing clothes to the last minute – it’s best to do this the night before, so you feel as organised as possible.
12. A friendly, professional greeting
When you enter the interview building, greet reception staff in a friendly, professional manner. If possible, find out the name of the receptionist so you can break the ice with a personal greeting. Introduce yourself and explain that you’re there for an interview and provide the name of the interviewer's.
Adopt a professional approach when you’re sat waiting for the interview, using positive, confident body language. Now isn’t the time to check your social media accounts or WhatsApp your friends. Instead, switch your phone off before you enter the building and leave it alone until afterwards. If there are any corporate brochures to hand, flick through these while you wait.
14. First impressions count
It’s a fact that first impressions count, so as soon as the interviewer approaches you, ensure you come across as personable, professional and courteous. Stand up straight, smile, make eye contact and extend your hand. Say hello and introduce yourself, stating that it’s a pleasure to meet them, and thank them for taking the time to see you today. Attention to detail can go a long way to securing your dream role.
15. Prepare a few slides about YOU
First, this is different and can help differentiate you at many levels. What are
the key strengths they want that you have? What is special about you that
others don't have or don't promote they have? How about how much money
you save a company in your career or increased sales or created new ideas
that opened new doors of untold financial benefits? Don't try to come across
as Wonder Woman or Superman but as someone who makes a big difference
that THEY NEED. This can be a great opening item for the Interview as it can
take them off their plan and into your agenda.
Go in to Win. Be confident but not cocky. Be informed but not reciting facts and figures. Get your networks to provide inside information and watch the news as the interviewer(s) may not seen the latest news on their company yet.
Practice techniques including answering challenging questions and STAR for your behavioral interview questions. Know who you are, what excites you, what makes you different from the others. And know your dreams and passions.