5 Interviewing Tips

Post authored by Heather Kyler, Meetings Coordinator, Mechanical Contractors Association of America

Congratulations, you got an interview!  Now what?  Like it or not, you are not the only one interviewing for the position.  That means you need to set yourself apart from the other candidates and become memorable, in a positive way.  The following five tips are ways that can help you achieve that.

     1.  Research, Research, Research! – You should have already done this before submitting your application or at least some.  However, it’s now more important than before to learn everything you can about the company (and person) who’s interviewing you.  It shows you have interest and are already investing yourself in the company.  Companies want to hire people who show promise and dedication, this helps open that door for you.

Make sure you showcase your knowledge of the company throughout the entire interview.  If they give you the opportunity to ask questions, use the base level knowledge you gained in your research to probe for further detail.

     2.  Arrive Early – Try to arrive 10-15 minutes early; however, don’t go inside more than 10 minutes before your appointment.  The employer will expect you to arrive early, but remember they have a job to do as well.  If you arrive too early they may feel rushed or not know what to do with you yet.

Traffic is unpredictable, so allow more than enough time to arrive to the interview, even if that means sitting in your car for a while.  There is nothing worse than arriving to an interview late (if you want the job!).  If you are late, you have already set the tone for the whole interview and it’s not a good one.

In addition, by getting there early you have some extra time to relax and prepare yourself.

     3.  Look Professional – Always dress nicer than what you think the everyday dress code is for the office.  What I mean by that is, even if the dress code is casual, don’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt.  Employers assume that you are going to try to look your very best for an interview and rightfully so.  If you don’t put time into your appearance for the interview, the employer may assume you won’t when it comes time to meet with clients either.  Remember first impressions are important and they are going to see you before anything else.

     4.  Firm Handshake – A good, strong handshake is memorable.  It helps to show confidence, which is something else employers look for when hiring.

     5.  Write a Thank You Note – For quick turnaround, type an email to each of the individuals that interviewed you.  However, it would not hurt to follow that up with a handwritten thank you note to each of them as well (it should be different from your email).

In your note, make sure to thank them for the opportunity but also highlight some key parts of the interview that went well to help you make that connection again.  If you were interviewed by more than one person, write a note to each of them and make sure they are different.

Your emailed thank you should be sent within 24 hours of the interview, if not the same day, and your handwritten thank you should be post marked by the following day.

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