It’s a new year, and some of us are embarking on new career paths – which means that you’ll have to start going to job interviews. It doesn’t matter if you’re a wide eyed computer science graduate or a seasoned tech industry professional, job interviews can be really tough. First impressions are hard to make and even tougher to break, so it’s important that you do everything you can to present yourself in the best possible way. Here are a few simple pieces of advice to help you impress your future employers, and hopefully land you your dream job in 2015.
1. Do your research.
The internet is a wonderful tool which you can use to get an idea of the company culture and personality. Before you go in for your interview, peruse the business’ social media profiles and take a look at their portfolio work. This will help you anticipate what kind of environment you’ll be entering into and give you a better idea idea of how to dress and behave. In the tech industry, people aren’t just looking for bodies that will do get the job done, but people who are going to contribute to their company’s values and goals.
2. Get enough rest the night before.
Sleep is important. You might be tempted to stay up all night coding the day before your interview, so you can show off your skills – but that kind of thing is counter productive. Being sleep deprived can inhibit your communication and listening skills, two essential parts of the job interview process.
3. Dress and groom yourself appropriately.
Most tech industry jobs are pretty informal, and showing up in a full power suit might give the impression that you’re a bit out of touch. However, that doesn’t mean you have to embrace the ungroomed, unwashed developer nerd in a hoodie stereotype. Dress like a spruced up version of your everyday self. Wear something flattering that makes you feel confident. Definitely shower, and try to avoid looking unkempt. For instance, if you have a beard, you might want to consider shaving it for the interview, or at the very least, get it trimmed and neatened by a barber.
4. Be present and focused.
At the interview, forget about your smartphone. Turn that thing off as soon as you get there to minimize distractions. Don’t be late. In fact, arrive a little earlier than anticipated to give yourself a few moments to breathe and collect your thoughts. During the interview, listen carefully and at the end, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the company culture and mention the achievements you discovered in your research. This shows an actual vested interest in the business and will definitely impress your prospective employer.
5. Say thank you.
After the interview is over, go home and write a thank you email. Better yet, never underestimate the power of a handwritten note. Thank your prospective employer for their time and consideration and reiterate your enthusiasm for the position. This display of good manners will leave your potential future boss with a final positive impression of you – something which will pay off in networking opportunities, even if the job opportunity doesn’t work out.
Good luck out there, job search warriors!