So your winning resume got you a call from one of the top jobs on your list. You've scheduled the interview, picked out what you're going to wear, and used a combinations of Google Maps and your friend's GPS to map out a route.
So what the heck do you do now?
Well, you could try to plan out how you'll handle the interview. Don't go in cold; it's best to try to figure out ahead of time how to handle whatever the interviewer throws at you. Nobody ever lost a job because they were too prepared, right?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for when the big meeting comes along.
Dressing to impress sometimes means dressing to fit in. Your grandpa might tell you that in his day, men always wore a three-piece suit and their best fedora to a job interview. These days, things are a bit different. Some workers still wear office formal, but many offices have a more causal approach to their dress codes. Agencies hiring new employees don't just want talent -- they want someone that meshes with the group. If possible, get a feel for how the other employees dress by visiting the interview site ahead of time. Then, go a step or two above that. If the men wear golf shirts, wear a button-down. If they wear button-downs, wear your nicest one, and maybe a tie as well. If the women wear flats, wear pumps.
There's no such thing as too many copies of your resume. Many times, interviewers will have so many resumes that yours will get lost in the stack. Or they're so busy with other work that they'll lose the entire stack. Other times, there'll be more than one interviewer, but only one resume to pass around. In these cases, you'll look truly prepared if you can pull a spare copy or two out of your bag. This will also thwart the interviewer who asks if you have an extra resume handy just to see how prepared you are. Agencies hiring new workers.
Don't reserve all your good manners for the interviewers. Being polite and friendly to everyone you meet isn't just good for your karma. It's also good advice for anyone seeking a job. Don't blow off the parking attendant or the receptionist -- you never know who the interviewer is friendly with. It's also not a good idea to be impolite to someone who has the power to slow you down. A parking attendant could easily give you the farthest spot from the elevator, and a receptionist could conveniently forget to tell the interviewer that you arrived on time.
Sherlock Holmes would have made a good interviewee. In every story Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about him, Sherlock Holmes proved himself the master of noticing the smallest details. When you walk through the door of the interviewer's office, try to be like Doyle's master detective by looking for the details that will allow you to make a connection. Oh, I see you have a baseball signed by Johnny Damon -- you may notice from my resume that I lived in Boston when the Sox won the series. Or, maybe Hey, you have a jar of Werther's Originals here on your desk. My grandmother used to give me one of these every time she saw me. Any connection you can make with the interviewer can, at the very least, ease the tension.
Agencies hiring new employees want to do as little work as they need to. This doesn't meant the company where you're interviewing is full of lazy people -- it just means you have the opportunity to impress your interviewers by doing a good percentage of their work for them. This means learning everything you can about the company and finding a compelling and concise way to describe to them why you're the best applicant for the job. Think about the last time you made a major purchase, like a car. Wouldn't it have been easier if one car had been clearly the most reliable, economical and attractive? Make yourself the only logical choice, by letting them know just how well you'd fit into their corporate culture.