When job searching, planning is an important step that can make or break your chances of success. A good resume and application may land you an interview, but planning is necessary to ace it and get the job offer.
Is your lack of planning costing you? We’ve put together some resources to help you pick out serious errors and interview flaws due to a lack of planning. These mistakes can destroy what could have been a great interview and result in a lost job opportunity.
- Not Preparing to Be on Time
Before the day of your interview, plan out your drive to the location. Always allow extra travel time for accidents, bad traffic, or car trouble. If you can drive to the business location a day or two before your interview, you’ll have a better idea of how long the trip will take.
- Not Being Properly Dressed
Showing up at a job interview in inappropriate attire or in clothes that are wrinkled is another deadly sin. If you haven’t planned ahead of time to iron your clothes or explore the company culture, you could end up looking shabby and embarrassing. If you have a chance to drive by your potential employer’s office to see how other employees are dressed, do so. At the very least, pick out your interview outfit the night before, try it on, iron or clean as necessary, and set the pieces out for easy dressing.
- Not Preparing for Your Interview
Have you practiced answering interview questions? Have you read the company’s website and annual report if available? Have you looked up news about the company? Preparing for an interview takes effort, but that effort pays off when you have rehearsed answers to difficult questions and can have an intelligent conversation about the company itself. Not preparing for the interview may leave you looking nervous and uninformed.
- Not Preparing Extra Copies
The company already has your resume, but you should plan to bring extra copies. While you’re at it, bring extra copies of any portfolio items, references, awards, and anything else a recruiter may be interested in. Never walk in empty-handed. By planning ahead, you can present yourself in a strong light by having extra copies of important documents.
- Not Having a Follow-Up Plan
After the interview is over, do you have a plan for following up? The lack of follow-up can hurt your chance to be hired. Instead, make a plan to send thank-you cards and professional follow-up emails. Write the thank-you cards as soon as the interview is over and craft an email asking if the company needs additional information from you to send in a week or two. Not having a plan to contact the company after the interview may take you out of the running.
It’s tempting to leave your career to chance and not plan, but the people who are most successful are prepared ahead of time for any job search opportunity. Take time to put together your plan, and stop letting lack of planning cost you.
How do you plan ahead of time for job interviews? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.
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