You know the basics of going on an interview. You know you should dress nicely, be polite and have an answer to the dreaded “what are your weaknesses” question ready to go.
But while we see many candidates who have these fundamentals of interviewing down, sometimes people forget about the other stuff. These are the small bits and pieces that can make a huge impression on an interviewer.
What are we talking about here? Things like planning ahead and choosing the right thing to order at lunch. If you don’t give these any thought beforehand, you could end up with an unexpectedly distressing situation.
Here are five outside the box interview tips that will assist you in your job search.
1. Know Where You Are Going for the Interview
How many times have you looked at an address, thought you knew where it was, and ended up driving around for 20 minutes searching for the right place because your GPS won’t connect or you forgot to write down the exact address?
Being late to an interview starts things off on the wrong foot, and saying you got lost is no excuse. The interviewer will question your ability to follow directions and personal responsibility when you walk in 5 minutes late, let alone 15 to 30. Look at Google Maps the night before. Do a test run to the interview location. Remember to account time for rush hour traffic and finding a parking space.
2. Practice Proper Name Pronunciation
Study the names of the people you will meet with and make sure you can pronounce them. Also make sure you know how to address them (i.e., Mr., Ms., Mrs., etc.). You may ask, “What salutation do you prefer?” People would rather be asked than be offended.
3. Prepare for the Entire Length of the Interview
Interviews can last for a long time, especially if someone likes what they hear from you. It’s not uncommon for them to introduce you to others in the company to get their impression.
Clear your schedule for as much of the day as possible. Get someone else to pick up the kids. Reschedule that 3 p.m. doctor’s appointment, even if the interview starts at 9 a.m. Concentrate on this moment and ignore all other commitments.
4. Order Carefully at a Lunch Interview
Great, you’re going to lunch — that means they like what they’ve heard so far in the interview! Don’t blow it by ordering something catastrophic from the menu. Avoid things that are difficult or noisy to eat or could leave stains on your clothes, such as:
- Fried chicken
- Hot wings
- Sandwiches with any type of sauce
Stick to blander, lighter-colored food. Salads are usually safe bets.
5. Put. Away. Your. Phone.
This should go without saying … but don’t even think about checking your phone during an interview. You laugh, but people flick open their phones and scroll Facebook without even thinking about it these days. Put your phone in your purse or briefcase to avoid temptation.
What unusual interview tips have you discovered from experience? Share with us on Twitter — you can find us at @SGConsulting_PA.