Five Great Tips for the Interview Appointment

By: Craig Travis

The whole purpose of an interview is for the employer to meet you, to get acquainted with your professional background and experience, learn about your special skill sets and qualifications, and of course, to see how you match up with their organizational needs. You obviously have piqued their interest with your resume, so now is not the time to disappoint them by not paying proper, close attention to the important details related to your interview appointment. Plus, this is the opportunity for you to do your homework, learn everything possible about their interview plans and process, learn all about their firm and key people, and plan how you will knock them over with your winning interview.

CONFIRM THE DETAILS: DAY, DATE, TIME, LOCATION AND PEOPLE
It should go without saying you must always confirm the details of your interview appointment, but we have seen too many times candidates missing their interviews because they did not think to confirm the details. When called about your interview appointment, before getting off the phone, confirm the exact day, date, time and location of the interview. This includes the address and room where the interview will take place.

Just as important, confirm all of the names and titles of the person(s) you will be meeting and a contact phone number should you require additional information prior to your appointment. This is the ideal time to learn who will be conducting your interview, the type of interview they are planning and the expected duration of the interview process so you can plan accordingly. Will you be expected to meet other personnel? Who are they? Will there be multiple interviews that day conducted separately by other key personnel? Who? Where? How long? How many resumes should you bring along? Should you take along sample materials so you can leave it with them? How many copies should you make? These are all important questions you need to have answered so you can take away any surprises that might crop up.

In the likelihood your first interview will be by telephone, make absolutely sure they have the correct phone number to call you and you have theirs in the event you should become disconnected during the interview. Just as important, ensure you will be in a location that is completely private and that you will not have any disturbances or interruptions of any kind while you are on the phone. You do want any unbecoming or unprofessional background noise (children playing, dog barking, colleagues walking in and out of your office, etc.). It also goes without saying that should you have a telephone interview, you should never be driving in your car. Find a quiet remote location to park with no distractions.

RESEARCH THE ORGANIZATION
Now is the best time to conduct your research on the organization and after confirming your interview plans, you now know the names and titles of the key people you will be meeting - the very ones whom you need to impress and win over to land the job. Get to know everything you possibly can about the firm, its key personnel, management and the interviewers.

It seems overly simplistic, but ask your self what kind of business is this firm? What do they do and what are they most noted for? You would be surprised how many candidates have no clue about the organization with whom they are interviewing with, and it places them at a distinct disadvantage in the competition. What is the stock price? Where is the headquarters? Are there any regional offices? Where? Who are their clients? What is their reputation in the marketplace? How many employees? What is their annual revenue?

Read the annual report from the past three years to familiarize your self about the core nature of their business, earnings and revenues, and future plans. This will help you prepare to answer questions related to how you see yourself fitting into their organization. In fact, why are you applying for this position? What do you envision you will do for this firm and where do you want to fit in? What do you have to offer and contribute? Who will you be working for and where? Is the interviewer your prospective boss? What are the future plans of the company/division where you will be working?

Finally, read the posted job description if you have not already. If you have not, ask for a copy of it when you confirm your interview appointment. Knowing the details of the job description will prepare you to intelligently address the qualifications and requirements of the position.

TRAVEL PLANS: GET A MAP AND PLAN YOUR TRAVEL ROUTE
If you are meeting at the prospective employer's office, which is generally the case, take time beforehand to confirm the location on a map, obtain driving directions and the best route to use for the time and day you are traveling to the appointment. If possible, drive the route days before so you are familiar with it and the traffic congestion at that time of day. This will help you to know for certain how much time you need to allow yourself to travel and arrive with time to spare. Ask yourself where you will park; is parking free or paid? Covered or uncovered? This might be important on a stormy day. How far will you need to walk from the parking lot to the office and how long will it take you? If possible, doing some reconnaissance days beforehand so you will not be surprised about how long it may take. After all, you do not want to be late for your job interview, ever. It will not only make a bad first impression, it may take you out of contention before you ever have the chance to sell your qualifications.

OUT OF TOWN TRAVEL
Likewise, if you are traveling from out of town for the interview put in the same effort as you would at home by doing your reconnaissance beforehand. If possible, arrive into town the day before a morning interview (it allows you to be rested and better prepared) so you will have time to get your bearings. Always check and double-check your travel arrangements, including air, hotel and rental car reservations. Get a map and ask for driving directions if necessary. Be absolutely sure you know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there from your hotel.

If you are traveling into town, it is advisable to arrive the day before to acclimate yourself to the surroundings, region, climate (higher elevation in some cases) and to help you feel rested and ready to go the following day. You certainly want to be your freshest, sharpest self so it only stands to reason you need to prepare yourself in every way possible, including getting into town early. After traveling far distances and over a long time, you will not be at your best, so avoid such an interview appointment at all costs.

CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST
Also, it is advisable you check the weather forecast regularly. If it rains or is exceptionally windy (any foul weather) you want to be properly prepared to weather the elements. Carry an umbrella, overcoat, hat, gloves and scarf if necessary. You want to be sure that when you arrive at your interview you are still well dressed and properly groomed, so it is worth taking every ounce of precaution against inclement weather. Should you encounter foul weather, then make sure you have extra time upon your arrival to use the restroom to freshen up and take a good look in the mirror so you will look sharp. Reconnaissance can prepare you for this situation as well.

Job Interview
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Job Interview
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles