Acing a job interview takes a lot more than natural confidence or even a good resume—it takes preparation. Here are several tips to help you prepare for every phase of your interview:
- Take time to explore nearby areas beforehand. You’ll want to know what the parking situation and traffic patterns are like so you don’t arrive late. Driving down local streets can also give you an idea of the type of neighborhood you’ll be working in and restaurants you might enjoy eating at on your lunch breaks.
- Organize your portfolio ahead of time. If you’re bringing a presentation folder, it’s important to know which pieces you’ve included and where they’re at. That may seem silly to say, but a portfolio is something you build over time—it’s easy to forget what’s in there. Running through it a day or two before the interview will refresh your memory and help you make better use of it.
- Maintain good body language. Most of what we say doesn’t come from our mouths. You’ll want to make sure you sit up straight, since slouching or leaning back looks too casual. Keep your arms and legs uncrossed to display an open, attentive attitude. You’ll also want to resist tugging at your clothes, touching your face, or playing with your hair; this behavior can indicate nervousness.
- Submit samples in a timely manner. It’s always a good idea to bring samples with you, but if you don’t have them on hand, you can always promise to send them later. The key is to actually do it—and do it soon. Sending samples promptly shows initiative and ensures that you’re on the interviewer’s mind.
For more helpful interview tips, read the graphic below.