As Bruce A. Hurwitz, vice president of New York City-based Joel H. Paul & Associates, Inc., explained at a recent Fundraising Day in New York, an interview is merely a step inside the door. You can get kicked out just as quickly as you got in if you put on a poor performance. In order to better prepare job seekers for the interview, Hurwitz made a list of things they should and should not do when preparing for the big day:
- Research the employer. You better have an answer if the interviewer asks, “So, what do you know about our company?” You don’t have to memorize the mission statement, but at least know key facts about the organization.
- Prepare for multiple interviews. Some employers want to know how you would fit in the organization as a whole.
- Dress professionally. Err on the side of conservative. Don’t wear perfume or aftershave. You want the interviewer to hear you, not smell you.
- Ask for business cards. That will remind you whom you spoke with and make it easier to follow up.
- Make eye contact. Be friendly without forcing chumminess.
- Immediately send a thank-you letter. The letter can get you or cost you the job.
- Be aware of what’s on the Internet about you.
- Be late.
- Bring coffee. Take care of your java fix before the interview.
- Speak ill of your previous or current employers.
- Bring up salary or benefits. If the employer does, be honest about what you’ve made and what you need to make.
- Be modest. This is your time to shine. Emphasize what you personally have done and what you’ve done in a team setting. Tell them how you would fix their problems.
- Bring notes. Prepare before hand for questions but try not to sound rehearsed.