- Bring the Right Things
There are many different items you can bring to an interview. Here are the top suggestions from recruiters:
- Pen and Paper/Notebook. Taking notes in any meeting not only shows that you're listening well, but it helps you look back and remember everything that happened. Let's face it, nobody has a perfect memory and there are many things you'll want to remember: upcoming opportunities, answers to questions, or any to-dos you may have promised.
- A Copy of Your Resume. And it should be the same resume you already sent the recruiter. They will likely have a copy printed out for themselves and will ask questions about specific projects. Dialogue is a lot easier when you're both looking at the same document and referencing the same sections.
- Reference Information. If your interview is successful, the next step for a recruiter may be to contact some of your references. You could promise to email them when you get home, but it would be a lot more convenient for the recruiter if you had them readily available at that moment. Remember, recruiters are more likely to work with professionals who make their life easier.
- Business Cards. Business cards add a professional touch, help with personal branding, and are one extra measure to make sure your contact information gets into the system. Also, while most recruiters today are electronic, others still like to collect business cards for networking purposes.
- Wear the Right Clothes
A mere 8% of recruiters say they couldn't care less about what a contractor wears to an interview, but over 20% say attire is one of the top qualities they consider to forming an opinion of a candidate. When dressing for an interview, for any position, for any company, always dress professionally. That means nice, at the very minimum, a collared shirt, dress pants, and nice shoes. A tie, for men, is a great touch and, if you'd really like to stand out, a suit wouldn't hurt (a tuxedo may be over kill). We should point out that not a single recruiter said a contractor should wear jeans to an interview.
- Ask the Right Questions
Having prepared the right questions shows that you've thought about the interview, the potential opportunities, and that you're interested in working with the agency. Arrive prepared with questions and right down the responses (remember the notebook we suggested earlier?). This will also help you compare other interviews you've had at other agencies when deciding who to work with.
- Follow-Up at the Right Time
Over 90% of recruiters say they like it when a candidate follows up after an interview with them. Of those recruiters, 3 out of 4 want to hear from you within 24 hours. Make a point of sending that follow-up email or placing a phone call. Be sure to reference something you discussed in the interview to show you were engaged (again, remember that notebook?).The majority of recruiters create first impressions based on how prepared you were for that interview. Do you really want to ruin your chances at an opportunity or start a relationship on the wrong foot simply because you didn't take a few minutes to prepare? Are there any other preparation tips you can share with our readers? Share your thoughts below!