Daily Archives: August 12, 2008

Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best: 3 Tips to Impress in an Interview

“What would you say if a man walked in here with no shirt, and I hired him?” the interviewer from the hit movie The Pursuit of Happyness asked Will Smith’s character, Chris Gardner, in one famous scene. “He must have had some really nice pants,” Gardner responded. He got the job. How? It didn’t hurt that his knowledge and preparation made him a standout candidate.

While we can’t all be as charming as Gardner was, impressing an interviewer with your preparation isn’t just movie magic. By having a few things ready before an interview, you can be prepared to walk out of the interview smiling.

Bring Extra Copies of Your Résumé.
It’s important for you to know your résumé well enough that you can recite it in case the interviewer forgets his copy and needs the one you brought for yourself. But, think ahead for this situation and have multiple copies of your résumé and work samples on hand. There might be multiple interviewers, and you don’t want the interviewers passing a single paper back and forth. It causes a distraction and can break your train of thought when you’re trying to market yourself.

Have Your Research with You.
When researching the company before your interview, print out the company’s website materials, and take them with you to the interview. Consider investing in a leather binder – it includes a notepad and pen in case you need to take notes. But, as you open the binder to hand out your résumé or sample work, you can subtlety show that you’ve done your research and prepared for the job when they see the print outs of their website. Also, bring a spare pen in case yours or the interviewer’s fails, and you’ll be ready to save the day.

Ask Relevant Questions.
Knowledge of the company is a very impressive factor for interviewers. Prepare a few questions to ask the employer when they give you the opportunity. Have some questions to select from in case some of your choices were answered during the interview. By asking detailed questions that relate to the organization, you are indirectly showing that you have really looked into their business.

Check out our next post on how to prepare for an emergency before or during your interview.