It’s the day of your job interview and you’ve not prepared enough. What should you do to mentally get ready for a day of probing interview questions, some of which will be odd and others will be just potentially stressful.
- First Impression – First, focus on your interview attire and overall general look. It’s sad but the first impression is going to have a huge impact on your interview. You must ensure that you look appropriate for your industry and your role. That means if you are in healthcare you are going to dress appropriately conservative. If you are in tech you look like you’re in tech. So not like healthcare at all for the most part unless it is healthcare technology. I once interviewed with a professional services start up and everyone was dressed in yoga pants except the founder. I wore what I refer to as an interviewing ninja ensemble – the basic black top and slacks.
- Resume – Next make sure you have your resume. I can’t tell you how many people don’t show up with a resume and no one at the employer has printed it out. Sounds old-school but it is a common problem. If they’re not prepared at least you are.
- Job Description – Print out the job description. Sounds silly but you’re going to want to review that while you’re waiting and stay focused on the required skills for the job.
- LinkedIn Profile Review – Review all of your interviewers linked in profiles if you can. Especially the hiring manager. It will also help for you to be able to recognize them from their photo on their profile. You don’t have to connect with them just review their profile.
- Review Company Information – Review the company information on LinkedIn and Glassdoor and other sources like their website. Do all of this before the interview and never use the interview to ask them basic questions about locations, company size etc…use your interview to focus on how you match the skills for the job in question. Also do not use the interview to ask about negative Glassdoor reviews. You’ll just offend your interviewers and every employer has these bad reviews. Some more than others, however, the interview isn’t the time to address them. I recommend discussing directly with your Recruiter in a separate call.
- GPS Your Drive – If you are driving, GPS the location and reconfirm you know where you’re going to park. Then give yourself an extra hour and find a coffee shop to hang out in beforehand so that you don’t run into any problems with traffic. The easiest way to lose her job is to show up late. It’s almost unrecoverable even in cities with horrific traffic.
- Review Competitors – It’s always good to review the competitors quickly to get a sense of the competitive landscape. Once again, the interview is not the time to drill them on negative press.
- Research the CEO – Always review their LinkedIn profile, online articles and if available, read the CEO statement on the website.
- Company Stats – Ensure that you understand the basics about the company. You don’t use your interview to ask those questions. Focus on the job in the hiring manager for your interview.
- Compensation and Benefits – You can go to Glassdoor to review their comp and benefits information but keep in mind these are self reported by current and former employees. Meaning they are not accurate but give you some info. I strongly recommend keeping compensation discussions for your Recruiter. Typically you’ve already discussed target compensation with your recruiter so if you’re being brought in for on-site interviews that means you’re probably in range.
If the role has incentive compensation it is OK to ask how the program is structured, how discretionary it is, what their payout percentage has been and if they have historicals etc. however it may be best to cover that with your Recruiter.
Final prep tip for getting ready for your interview – have fun and smile a lot. Take a deep breath. Think of it as making new professional contacts and networking.