Most job interview preparations are fairly straight forward like – What time should I get to the interview? Should I follow up after the interview etc.
Other ones are a bit trickier like when the employer asks you, “Would you like a coffee, water or tea?”
Coffee? Yes or No
If they offer you a coffee or water always say yes to the water. It makes you look polite and friendly and gives you a prop to use if you need to gather your thoughts for a moment.
Other Preparation to consider:
Business Casual or Business Suit?
It’s the eternal question really, should I always wear a suit or should I dress in business casual attire if the company seems to be more casual? The simple answer is is always err on the side of caution. if you are absolutely sure they have a casual culture, then go for business casual. If you are unsure, wear a professional suit.
What props and materials do I really need?
When you are walking into any job interview you should always have a hard copy of the job description, 2 copies of your resume, your portfolio if that is appropriate and a list of your references. You should also have memorized a list of great questions to ask and have a quick elevator pitch ready in case you need to use it.
If I’m sick, is it ok to cancel?
Avoid cancelling an interview. However, if you’re not going to be your best and will struggle at answering questions at the interview, and you are way too sick to make a good impression then you should definitely reschedule. If they’re not an understandable type of employer to allow you to reschedule, then it’s probably not the right company you’d want to work for anyway.
Always try and nail an alternative time while they are on the phone and make sure you allow enough time to recover so you don’t need to cancel again.
Who should offer to shake hands first?
First impressions are important so offer to shake hands first. It makes you look friendly, confident and proactive. Just make sure the handshake you offer is firm and confident not limp and uninspiring.
Where do I sit and how?
If the interviewer does not gesture as to where you should sit, then don’t assume, ask them where they would prefer you to sit. Sit up straight, do not slouch and lean forward slightly to show you are attentive and interested. Do not sit right back in your chair.
Talking versus Listening
A good job interview should be like a really compelling conversation, hopefully there is two way input. Since you are the one answering the questions, you will inevitable do more of the talking. Aim for a 60/40 split but if you notice that you are rambling or talking to much then slow down and deliberately ask a few of the questions you have prepared.