4 Things Every Job Candidate Needs to Do Before an Interview

by Guest writer: Eva Benoit

When you are sending out tons of applications, getting called back for an interview can be exciting, but it can also be a bit stressful. Knowing what to wear, what to say, and how to prepare can be a challenge, especially if this is your first job. If you want to dazzle hiring managers and ace your interviews, however, all you need is to follow some basic steps.

Review Your Social Media Profiles

If you have not scrolled through your feeds on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram in a while, you should definitely do so now. Over 93 percent of potential employers have reported checking out candidates’ social media profiles before bringing them in for an interview. That’s why it is a good idea to make sure your social media presence is in good shape before you start applying for new positions. If you have not had time to review your online presence or choose to keep your profiles public, make sure you know what your posts say about you, just in case anything comes up in an interview. One way many professionals manage their social media presence without risking their reputation is to set up public profiles for their professional persona while keeping private profiles for themselves. This can protect you in several ways now that social media has started to influence so many aspects of our lives.

Go for a Professional Look

Your social media accounts may provide a first look at who you are, but your appearance is what really makes a good first impression. This may require spending some money, but it’s an investment in you and your future. For the majority of interviews, you can follow a few rules to make sure your outfit makes the right statement to hiring managers. Women can opt for a structured blazer over a nice blouse with either a skirt or pants. For men, ties can be optional depending on where you are interviewing, but you can never go wrong with a blazer and crisp button-down. Whatever you choose, make sure it is clean, free of wrinkles, and fits you well. A too-short skirt or too-tight jacket can make you look less put-together and less qualified for the job.

You should also pay attention to your personal hygiene, and avoid some common grooming mistakes. Nails should be light and trimmed, and perfumes or colognes really should be avoided when you are meeting with a potential employer. Hair should be combed and styled modestly. Makeup shouldn’t be too loud or distracting (check out some reviews of quality makeup kits). If you can get a haircut prior to your interview, all the better. And men, keep your beards or goatees trimmed and neat — invest in new clippers if you have to — to avoid looking unkempt.

Research the Company Pre-Interview

Another common mistake that candidates make is not researching the company they are interviewing with. As soon as you get your interview call, hop online and do your homework to figure out exactly what the company is about. Most companies or organizations have some sort of website or online presence where you can find most of your information, but don’t be afraid to dig around on LinkedIn and social media sites to find out more about your potential employers. If you want to level up your research, you can also look online at sites like Glassdoor to find potential interview questions, information about the job you are applying for, and reviews from current and former employers.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

You wore your best outfit, the interview went well, and you had all the right answers. So, what’s next? Well, if you really want the job, you should do some follow up after your interview. A hand-written thank you note is a great way to make yourself stand out from other candidates. If you’ve followed up and it has been a few weeks, you can reach out again to check on the progress of your application. However, know that in some cases you may not hear back from potential employers, so it’s important to know what to do next. You can try reaching out again, but your best bet is to not take it personally and move on to the next potential job.

It’s helpful to know how to prepare for an interview and wow potential employers. At the end of the day, however, the most important things to remember are to be the best version of yourself and remember to breathe. You’ve got this, and you will have your dream job in no time!      

Photo Credit: Pexels

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