4. Arrive early - Deepstash

4. Arrive early

The last thing you want to do is show up late (or not at all ), says Martin, so get to the building 10 to 15 minutes before the interview. Moreover, “having extra time means you can take a few minutes in the bathroom to check how you look—tuck in your shirt, fix your tie, comb your hair—and fine-tune the image that you want to present,” Foggle says.

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  • Several copies of your resume. You may meet more employees that you originally expected to, says Rachel Loock, a career coach at the University of Maryland.
  • Business cards. Providing a business card allows you to establish yourself as a professional.
  • Portfolio/work samples. This is a must in creative fields like advertising, journalism, graphic design, architecture, or fashion.
  • References. If the interview goes well, the hiring manager may ask you for them on the spot.
  • Pen and notepad. Taking notes shows you’re actively listening to the interviewer and engaged in the conversation.
  • Photo ID. You may need to provide identification to enter the building.

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The hiring manager will want to see that you’re passionate about your field and the job that you’re applying for, so bring some energy to the room. “A firm handshake and plenty of eye contact demonstrate confidence,” Martin adds. “Speak distinctly in a confident voice, even though you may feel shaky.”

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“Look for the information that you can weave into the conversation,” says Foggle. (“I was excited to see your CEO talk about your company’s commitment to innovation on CNBC.”)

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Learning how to listen —really listen—is a powerful thing. Some ground rules to follow: don’t interrupt when the other person is talking; maintain good eye contact, lean forward, and face the speaker directly; and put away your cellphone—“no exceptions,” says Casey Carpenter, a trainer and coach with D.C.-based communications training firm Global Public Speaking.

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Hiring managers often conclude job interviews by giving the candidate a chance to ask them questions . While you may be tempted to skip this part and run for the exist, it would be a terrible mistake. Take full advantage of this opportunity. A few recommendations:

  • Why is this position open?
  • What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 90 days?
  • Are there opportunities for additional training and education?
  • What do you enjoy most about working here?
  • How is performance measured in this role?

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Following up is a critical part to getting hired, yet it's often overlooked. The goal, Foggle says, is two-fold: to stay top-of-mind and restate your interest. For example: “Hi Tom, I’m just writing to let you know that I am still very interested in the position. Please let me know if I can offer any additional information, such as letters of recommendation, that might be useful.”

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The purpose of a job interview is for the interviewer to assess your skills,” says Tucker, “and anecdotes serve as affirmations that provide proof that you actually have the skills that you say you have.”

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Foggle says some job seekers make the mistake of donning distracting attire. “Don’t do anything to the extreme, unless you know that that’s the culture at the company,” she cautions. “Wearing too much perfume, too much makeup, too many designer logos—those are the things you want to avoid.”

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