Preparing for the Interview: Part 2

When I wrote my post last week, I didn’t know the name of the author of the jobulo article: “10 Tried and True Ways to Prepare for a Job Interview,” so I was unable to give her credit. She wrote to thank me for including her interview tips in my blog, so I can now tell you that the author of the article is Hayley Stovoid. Today’s post continues my discussion of her suggestions, picking up with #4.

4. “Plan your outfit.” According to Stovoid, “64% of employers say a candidate’s outfit forms their first impression at an interview.” And you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression! That means you need to invest in one or two interview outfits, and my book’s Tip 42. Learn how to interview and Appendix L: Dressing for the interview give you lots of suggestions about what to wear—and what not to wear. One more thing: you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find nice outfits. Look at the clearance racks in department stores, visit secondhand consignment clothing stores, or even try outlets such as the Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

5.  “Plan your journey.” As I explain in Tip 42. Learn how to interview, it’s very important that you show up on time for the interview. One way to ensure that you can do that is to do a trial run on your route to the employer’s place of business on a comparable weekday. Don’t just think that by driving there on Saturday afternoon you’ve figured out how long it will take. Different days of the week (and different times of the day) have significantly different traffic patterns, so whether you’re driving, taking a bus or a train, or even walking, make sure you have a good handle on how long it will take to get to your interview on time.

 . “Print out copies of your CV.” You may not have a CV, but you should have a resume, and you want to take a few copies with you whenever you go to a job interview. It’s true that someone in the office looked at your resume when you applied for the job, but it’s also true that you may meet with more than one person, or someone may have misplaced the resume, so it will just make you look that much more prepared and professional if you have copies for anyone you’re asked to talk with. And then, give yourself an extra few minutes to help ensure against the stress that can result from running late. (See Tip 38. Create (or update) your resume and Appendix I: Creating a resume for resume tips.)

7. “Get your career portfolio ready.” The students in my internship class are asked to create a portfolio of their work to demonstrate what they’ve accomplished to prospective employers. The portfolio can be on paper, in a three-ring binder, or on a website. The advantage of the paper portfolio is that you can take it with you to the interview and flip through the pages (or turn to a specific page) to answer questions about what you’ve done. The advantage of an e-portfolio is that you can include the link on your resume and other application materials, and the employer can review them as part of your application. Either way, it’s a good idea to start collecting things for your portfolio now—reports, graphics, flyers, photographs, CDs or DVDs—so that you don’t have to scramble at the last minute to find examples if you’re asked to bring them to the interview. (See Tip 50. Create a consistent, professional online presence for suggestions about eportfolios.)

Next time, I’ll tell you about Stovoid’s final three pieces of advice in the jobulo article.