Goliath’s ‘Master the Interview’ series is a 5-part playbook of tips and best practices enabling job seekers to stand out in all interviewing formats – over the phone, in a one-on-one setting or in a group interview.
Getting the call to schedule an on-site interview feels amazing.
And, because you’ve made it this far in the search for your next job, we’ll assume that you have the basics covered as you start thinking about the interview.
You already know the simple preparation work that needs to be done: making sure your suit is clean and ready, confirming the time schedule will allow for adequate discussion and the fact that you should bring several copies of your resume into your interview.
These are the basics – armed with this knowledge you’ll be on, at least, a level playing field with your candidate competition.
At Goliath, though, we want you to stand apart from the others – to win the on-site interview by going beyond the basics to prepare.
We want our candidates at their best, to stand out and to, ultimately, make the hiring manager’s decision an easy one.
So much of a good on-site interview starts with preparation.
Tip #1: Beyond the Basic dress
We aren’t into fashion, but our experience provides one proven rule about your appearance at an on-site interview: Don’t be glitzy – be sharp.
In our industry, interview attire is variable – from suits and ties to jeans and polos. Your best bet is to work with us, or an internal recruiter, to align your appearance with expectations of the hiring manager.
No matter the suggested dress code, though, if the hiring manager only remembers the wild socks you wore to the interview, that is a bad sign.
We’d rather hear nothing about our candidate’s interview attire – the focus should be on what you’re saying instead.
Tips #2: Beyond the Basic small talk
Most candidates prepare for the questions they might be asked by a hiring manager, but fail to be ready for the moment when you initially meet the interviewer or during lulls in their questioning.
Thinking about how you might initiate a conversation with the hiring manager is a great way to stand apart – especially since you’ll be nervous as you head into the office that day.
If you don’t have a chance to read this article by The Job Network, here is a summary we find valuable:
Stop short of being too bubbly, but be pleasant and smile often. Your positive disposition will send the hiring manager a signal that you’re energetic and ready to go.
No controversial topics
We live in a world of heightened sensitivity – so keep it simple, clean and leave opinions for home.
Scan for starters
We suggest looking for keys as you enter the office to start conversations.
This can be done very simply by taking note of a painting on the wall or a trophy case in the corridor. These objects can be clues into the company’s culture and branding.
If you enter the interviewer’s office, be perceptive about items you see – pictures that give you clues about hobbies and interests outside of the office. You can use that décor to connect with them personally.
Know when to get to business
At some point, small talk must turn into the professional interview setting you’ve prepared for – so don’t overdo it and rush the real substance.
If you are talking, watch the hiring manager to detect when they are ready to get down to the business of accessing your fit for their job posting.
Tip #3: Beyond the Basic leave-behinds
Before you go to an interview, prepare and print something that you can leave behind for the hiring manager – an item that remind them of your interview long after you’ve left their office.
A leave-behind is a powerful, tangible way for them to remember you without digging through the piles of resumes or the interview notes they took.
Keep it simple and precise – nothing too lengthy or detailed, like:
- Highlights of a recently completed project
- A recommendation of an ex-colleague or boss
- A quick summary of anything you absolutely want them to know about you (just in case you forget to mention it in the interview)
- Listing of ways you’d help on Day 1 if you were hired
Yes, getting an on-site interview is impressive – an accomplishment that many applicants can only wish for. Now that you’ve made it this far, though, it’s time to make it count!
The goal of an on-site interview is to stand-out. So, prepare to win by leaving your competition stuck worrying about the basics.
Need help with an upcoming interview? Contact the Goliath team today.