Interview Checklist: What Happened to Common Sense?!

Unless you’re independently wealthy or retired, job interviewing is as much a part of life as death and taxes. The good news? You have complete control of your role in making an interview successful. The bad news? Today’s candidates are failing in record numbers just for overlooking the basics. Below is a common-sense interview checklist that may not be so common-sense. Perhaps what used to be common-sense is newly discovered genius!? As recruiters, we’ve seen every point on this list violated by a candidate at one point or another. Candidates: Don’t lose out on a position because you didn’t prepare or fix a preventable problem.

Good luck…

  • Confirm your time and location in advance
  • Review the job description and prepare a list of well thought out questions. These may regard the company or team culture, management style used in the office, types of work or projects performed, and potential opportunities to use your skillset.
  • Consider bringing a hard copy of your résumé
  • Be on-time (early is on-time, and on-time is late)
  • Spit out your gum before you arrive
  • Follow social hygiene rules (shower, use deodorant, and brush your teeth)
  • Dress appropriately for the company and position for which you are interviewing. Ask your recruiter for details about company-appropriate attire!
  • Treat the receptionist/secretary/assistant well
  • Have a firm handshake and make eye contact
  • Turn your phone off or put it on silent
  • Sit up in your chair
  • Lean slightly forward toward the interviewer
  • Make eye contact during the interview (at least 50% of the time)
  • Smile (or at least maintain a pleasant expression)
  • Don’t fidget or play with your phone
  • Connect with the interviewer on a personal level. Comment about pictures, diplomas, awards in the office or anything found during your research.
  • Be honest and genuine
  • Take notes during the interview if appropriate
  • Send a thank-you note after the interview