When I was a senior at Purdue University, Dr. Richard Feinberg was a favorite professor of mine. On the first day of the class he had each of us go down to the front of the lecture hall, introduce ourselves, and shake his hand as if we were interviewing for a job. He had lots of constructive feedback for me and other classmates. The advice was simple: if you want to make a great first impression on a job interview, have a solid handshake, speak clearly, and make good eye contact.

Time and time again as I have interviewed candidates I wished that they had received Dr. Feinberg’s message. Here are a few other interview tips that come to mind that may seem basic, but are worth repeating.

  • Be on time. This is a truism: tardiness is inexcusable for an interview.
  • Dress appropriately.  Be sure to make your first impression a professional one.
  • Be able to show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework on their company. You don’t have to replay the company’s entire history, but being aware of recent accomplishments shows your interest in the company’s future.
  • Bring extra copies of your resume. Many times executives have back to back meetings and appreciate a fresh copy to review.
  • Ask questions when appropriate. Interviewers want the conversation to be a two way street.
  • Follow up with an email or note within 24-48 hours to all individuals you spoke with thanking them for their time.

I will elaborate more in future posts on highlighting your qualifications and accomplishments…..stay tuned!

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