Interviewers can get a pretty good sense of your character even before you open your mouth. While what you say at the job interview will matter, what you don’t say and do also matters. Every aspect from what time you arrived to the job interview, what you’re wearing, and your communication (verbal and non-verbal) is under review by the interviewer. So, here’s what interviewers are taking notice of and things you can do to come off professional, polished, and prepared.
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1. Are you on time?
As a job candidate you want to arrive at the job interview on time. That means 5-10 minutes before the appointment time. Arriving 30 minutes late or even 30 minutes early is not advised. The point is you want to be prompt – ready when they are ready for you. Arriving late informs the interviewer you’re unprofessional and may have poor time management skills. Arriving too early can inform the interviewer you’re overly anxious and it can also put you both in a weird spot where you’re waiting around and the interviewer may feel odd with you waiting. If you do get to the location early, take a few minutes to freshen up and prepare mentally for the interview at a local coffee shop.
2. Are you dressed the part?
Your attire at a job interview will leave an important impression. It’ll either inform the employer you belong or you’re out of sync with the job and company environment. Do research ahead of time – call the front desk, let them know you have an interview coming up and just wanted to ask about the office dress code. You also want to be mindful while planning your attire to not wear anything (including accessories) that may be cause for distraction during the interview.
3. What is your body language communicating?
Body language can communicate more strongly than what you have to say verbally. Take for instance someone who’s communicating verbally that they are excited, but their body language and facial expression displays something less than excitement. The message of excitement will not come across because what the interviewer will remember is what’s visually communicated. So in communicating at the job interview, be aware of your body language. You want to keep a natural posture, have eye contact and smile as you communicate what it is that you have to offer. It’ll leave the interviewer with a much better impression of you. For more tips on body language, read: “6 Tips For Job Seekers On Body Language.”
4. Do you know the employer?
Employers desire job candidates who have a real passion for the job and their business. That means someone who knows what the organization and their business is all about. Responses to questions and comments should come across tailored to the employer’s needs. So, before you walk into the job interview, make sure you’ve read up on the business and employer. Be prepared to answer: “What do you know about us?” A job candidate who’s unprepared essentially tells the interviewer that they are not that serious about the job.
5. Can you effectively communicate your qualifications?
The interviewer’s impressed with your qualifications on paper, now you just have to effectively communicate them in person. Be prepared to address all aspects of your resume and come armed with experiences you can reflect back on and talk about to demonstrate you have what they are looking for. The experiences you share should be relevant to the employer and indicate accomplishments and success on the job. Job candidates who can’t explain their experience and skills at the interview will come across as unqualified.
If you really want the job, you’re going to have to put the time and effort into preparing for the interview! Interviewers keep a watchful eye during the interview for any red flags, so be prepared! For additional tips on job interviewing, read “5 Red Flags Employers Watch For in Job Interviews.”
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