by John West Hadley, Principal
Career Search & Enhancement Counseling
1 Week Ahead: Review company website. Get annual report. Call networking contacts at company. Request PD, organization chart and interview schedule (including names & titles of the people you will be meeting).
3 Days Ahead: Make sure suit is pressed, shoes freshly polished, that you have clean matching shirt, tie, etc. Make sure you have directions to the interview location. If you aren’t familiar with the area, consider making a trial run so that you know how long it will take you, won’t get lost, etc.
1 Day Ahead: Make sure you have 5 clean copies of your resume on quality paper that you can hand out if needed, and a folder or plastic sleeve to carry them in for protection. Also have at least one copy of your references with full contact information, also printed on quality paper. Review your grid of qualities, skills & accomplishments vs. the position description and decide which accomplishment stories are most important to bring up during the interview.
Day of the Interview: Bring your resumes and references, and a list of your prior jobs, dates, companies, supervisors, and contact info in case you need it for filling out a job application. Fill out any applications neatly & completely, but if includes salary expectations, try “Negotiable.”
Bring your directions, and the interview schedule. If driving, consider sticking an extra shirt & tie or blouse in the car in case of spills. Plan to arrive at the interview 30 minutes ahead to provide a cushion in case something goes wrong on the way, but don’t walk in more than 10 minutes early. Bring your accomplishment stories with you so you can review them in the car while you waiting.
Also bring a pen, pad, comb, tissues, wetting solution (if you wear contacts), breath mints.
IF THEY MAKE YOU AN OFFER: Resist impulse to accept on the spot. Say you need a few days to consider it.
Later That Day: Make detailed notes of what happened in each meeting. What questions were you asked, what questions did you ask, what accomplishment stories did you tell, what seemed to go over well and what didn’t, what did the office look like. Also make a list of pros and cons of that job, and potential questions you would want to get answered.
Within 24 Hours: Write thank you notes to every person you met during the interviews. Spell check the letters and consider having someone proofread them for you before you send them. If you gave out your references, call each one to let them know for what position you have applied, who might call them, and your level of interest in and fit to the job.
© 2004 John West Hadley. All Rights Reserved.