Can the first five minutes of your IT interview make or break your chances of landing the job?
In a single word: Yes. Hiring managers size up candidates very quickly – and the first few minutes of your interview are critical to your success.
Follow these tips so you can quickly stand out among the competition.
Be on time.
Your preparation strategy starts even before your interview begins. Tardiness is unacceptable unless you have a really, really valid reason for it. Not being on time shows a lack of courtesy, respect and management skill.
- Arrive 10 minutes early. Make a practice run ahead of time and allow for “unknowns” such as rush-hour traffic or bad weather.
- Observe the surroundings. While you wait to be called into your interview, soak in as much as you can about the environment. For example, is it casual and friendly, or more reserved? This will provide you with clues on how to show your interest and make an appropriate ice-breaker comment once your meeting begins. Moreover, it will help solidify your decision regarding where the position and the culture will be right for you.
- Take a few minutes to relax. Mentally rehearse your introduction. Breathe. Be physically and emotionally ready to walk in with ease when the time comes.
Showcase your organizational strength, interest, and enthusiasm by bringing:
- Copies of your resume and, if appropriate, your polished, up-to-date portfolio. Review all emails and other correspondence from the company related to other items to bring, as well as where to go when you arrive.
- A pen and notebook. Jot down notes, no matter how sure you are that you’ll remember everything you learn. This shows that you value your interviewers’ input. It also gives you both a break from constantly looking at one another. On that note, be sure to strike a balance and look up as you take notes. Active eye contact demonstrates that you are paying attention.
Be well dressed.
“Well dressed” means appropriately attired for the job. Select an outfit, accessories and overall look that is right for the role. Try and find out the dress code ahead of time, then kick it up just a notch for your interview.
- Be sure your entire outfit, from head to toe, is neat, clean, in good repair and wrinkle free.
- Avoid overpowering scents or bold jewelry.
Be polite and professional.
This starts the moment you arrive on the property. Be respectful and polite to every single person you encounter, from parking attendants and security guards to receptionists and office managers who may escort you into your interview.
- Word spreads fast. Before you even leave the building, any sign of rudeness or disrespect will quickly hit the company grapevine. As it should. Remember, if hired, you will be interacting with these people every day.
The experienced professionals at CPS Recruitment® can partner with you to make your job search process a success from start to finish, including interview prep and follow-up. Contact us today to learn more.