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Your ability to make a great first impression on a potential employer hinges in great part upon your degree of preparation for the interview process. Being well-prepared for an interview can elevate your resume move to the top of the stack and increase your chances of securing a job. Below are 15 interview preparation tips to help you land your dream job.

1) Carefully review the employer’s website. Taking time to review an employer’s website shows initiative on your part. Familiarize yourself with top products and services and know who the key stakeholders and managers are within the organization.

2) Confirm the time and location on the day prior to your interview. Some employers have multiple locations and forget to specify the address where your interview will be conducted. You can avoid the embarrassment of showing up at the wrong location by confirming the address and time in advance.

3) Get plenty of sleep the night before your interview. You only have one chance to shine in an interview. Make sure that you are well rested on the day of your interview and eat a small bit of familiar food in the hours leading up to your interview.

4) Arrive early. One of the worst mistakes you can make with a potential employer is arriving late for your interview. The best way to avoid this is to allow plenty of time for delays and unexpected snags. Plan to walk in the door for your interview 15-30 minutes before the scheduled time.

5) Enter the interview process armed with thoughtful questions. Employers seek candidates who are curious and interested in their business and operations. Make sure that you have two or three good questions prepared to ask during your interview.

6) Bring several extra copies of your resume. Sometimes you will be interviewed by multiple people during the interview process. Plan ahead for this possibility and bring several extra copies of your resume with you to your interview.

7) Limit your use of perfume and cologne. Heavy colognes, perfumes and scented body lotions may be offensive or trigger allergies among some interviewers. It is better to leave the house without your favorite perfume than risk offending your potential boss.

8) Resist the urge to interrupt. The interview process is an exciting time for some interviewees. Sometimes people display their enthusiasm by interrupting or finishing the sentences of an interviewer. Always wait until you are certain your interviewer is finished speaking before responding.

9) Be aware of any recent awards or industry achievements earned by the employer. Hiring managers are usually impressed by interviewees who are aware of recent accolades and awards. You can usually find this information on the company’s website or social media sites.

10) Display your active listening skills. Treat the interview process like a valuable learning opportunity. Make it your mission to listen carefully so you can learn as much as possible about how the company operates. Try to remain focused on the conversation and do not let your eyes wander during the interview.

11) Do not be afraid to showcase your special skills and credentials. Even if you have listed your special skills and certifications on your resume, there is a good chance the hiring manager may not know about them. Make sure you find a natural way to tie your special skills to the job duties under discussion.

12) Wear clothing that is tasteful and appropriate for the work environment for that employer. Avoid clothing that is dirty, too tight, or too casual. Women should not wear dresses with a low-cut neckline or more than an inch or two above the knee. If your interview is in a warehouse setting, make sure to wear the appropriate shoes and safety gear.

13) Contact the interviewer to thank him or her right away. Set yourself apart from other interviewees by sending a written note of thanks to each person who interviewed you. Regardless of whether you choose to use e-mail or a paper and pen, remember to use correct spelling!

14) Follow up with the hiring manager. Just before the interview comes to a close, ask the interviewer if he or she knows when the hiring decision will be finalized, and whether candidates will be notified once the decision is made. Then plan to follow up with the hiring manager until a decision is made. Do not let weeks pass living under the assumption that the hiring manager will reach out to you. Be proactive!

15) Take note of any feedback or constructive criticism offered to you. Sometimes interviewers will give you unsolicited feedback about your resume or job experience. This feedback can be instrumental in highlighting adjustments that you should make to increase your chances of being hired.

Bonus Tip: Seek the guidance of a certified employment interview professional. The best way to bolster your interview success rate is to enlist the support of an experienced industry professional. We invite you to contact Elite Resume Writing Services to learn more about the benefits of professional employment interview coaching. With a success rate that exceeds 95%, the interview preparation specialists at Elite Resume Writing Services will make sure that you are thoroughly prepared to meet potential employers.

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