There’s no surefire way to ace a job interview, but there are certain things you can do to give yourself a leg up. In a terrific Huffington Post story titled “3 Unexpected Tips for A Winning Job Interview,” author and career expert Mary Eileen Williams shares some advice most jobseekers have probably never heard. Read on for a summary of what she suggests.
1. Ask for Specifics — Interviews come in all shapes and sizes. You might have a quick sit-down with one person or a series of panel interviews — or maybe some combination of the two. “Don’t be shy about asking the person arranging your interview(s) about the plans for the day,” Williams writes. Try to get a sense of how long you might be there. If it’s going to be an all-day affair, you’ll want a snack to boost your energy and ensure you stay on top of your game.
2. Map Your Route — Williams suggests doing a “dry run” and actually visiting the company a few days beforehand. This might seem like a strange tip, but it’s good to learn about traffic patterns in the area, so that you can anticipate anything that might make you late. On the day of the interview, arrive 30 minutes early, Williams writes, so that you’ll have ample time to relax and focus.
3. Pack the Right Stuff — It’s not enough to bring copies of your resume, though you should certainly have several you’re ready to hand out. Keep one copy of your resume for yourself, for quick reference, and slip it inside the professional-looking portfolio Williams also recommends you bring. Said portfolio should have a pad of paper on one side, and that’s crucial, because you’ll want to take notes. It shows you’re invested, and as an added bonus, it “gives you something to do with your hands.” Other things to pack: company contact numbers, in case you get stuck in traffic; work samples; a list of good questions demonstrating that you’ve done your research; and a smartphone or planner, in case you need to schedule a follow-up interview.