What time should I arrive to an interview?
Early. No excuses. But smart early, not weird early!
What we recommend is to PLAN to be there 30 minutes early. This allows you to factor in any mishap or traffic scenario. The trick is, don’t report to the interview that early if you do manage to get there without issues! Ride out the time at a coffee shop or in a calm waiting area. Let the office or interviewer know you have arrived 5-10 minutes early. This allows punctuality but doesn’t force the hiring authority to be interrupted early. This is an impression you can ace even before the interview starts.
Should I wear a suit and tie/suit and pumps to every interview?
It is a good rule of thumb to aim to dress to impress at an interview, but make sure you are considering the industry and company culture. Not every job requires the same level of formality in regards to attire; however, we think “business casual” would be the most casual we would recommend.
Should I bring a paper copy or a digital copy of my resume to the interview?
Paper copy for sure.
A digital copy is nice as well but does not suffice in place of a digital copy yet. It is extremely unlikely that the person/people interviewing you do not already have a copy, but it’s nice to have for good measure. You may meet with someone unexpectedly.
Additionally, have a form of your portfolio if applicable to your industry, a paper for notetaking, and a pen.
Also please make sure your phone is on DO NOT DISTURB OR OFF. Silent is not enough.
Should I send a thank you email? Who do I send it to? What is the best time frame? Can I handwrite my thank you letter?
YES. YES YES YES YES.
You should always send a thank you email to every person that took the time to speak to you and/or hear from you in an interview ASAP. We suggest within 24 hours.
Handwritten letters are nice; however, they don’t offer much guarantee of delivery and the time frame is iffy. If you send a handwritten thank you note, send it in addition to a prompt email.
Should I ask questions?
YES. BEFORE DURING AND AFTER. Keep them thoughtful and as far from generic as possible.
ULTIMATELY the goal for both parties is to ask enough of the right questions to determine if the candidate and the company are a fit. You are trying to find a symbiotic relationship. This is your main opportunity to make sure this role/company aligns with your personal, professional, and financial scorecard.
Make sure you ask the right questions beforehand to ensure your interview goes off without a hitch! Ask who you will be speaking to and for small details that will facilitate flow.
During the interview, questions will typically come up in a natural way – ASK THEM! If all is going well, the interview should feel more like a business conversation so questions that evolve normally are great to ask.
After, you should have a few questions prepared that are thoughtful and not generic.
Expand on something your conversation touched on previously or find a way to ask a question that highlights something you feel the need to emphasize. Ask about the next steps in the hiring process to show your interest.
Avoid speaking about specific compensation and benefits with your potential future employer until you’re confident you’ll get an offer. A way to get this insight is via your outside recruiter if you’re using one. If not, one way to pose this question is to ask for the estimated salary range.
What other resources are out there that can help me prepare better?
Check out Protis Global Managing Director of FMCG and Partner, Mike Bitar’s, prep video here!