Day of interview

Arrive about 15- 20 minutes prior to your interview. You want to be prompt, but not too early. Camping out in the lobby for an hour doesn’t make you look professional but instead shows a lack of scheduling ability.

There is no excuse for being late to an interview; in fact, this is one of the most damaging things a candidate can do.

If you are unfamiliar with the interview location, locate the company, building and specific office prior to the interview.

Keep in mind traffic time, particularly if you are interviewing in a larger urban center. For example, if you checked out the location at 10 p.m. chances are it is going to take you much longer to reach your destination at 8 a.m. Also, keep in mind how long it will take to find appropriate parking and any parking details in advance (i.e., if you will need a parking pass or special entrance to the facility).

Sometimes there are just “flukes” that happen that will make you late. A flat tire or accidents on the road are things you just can’t plan for. If you are running late for a legitimate reason, immediately call to let the employer know the situation.

Find out if he or she can wait for you, or if it is simply better to reschedule. It also bears mentioning that you should never cancel an interview, unless in the case of an extreme emergency. You may never get a second opportunity to interview, and certainly not get a second chance to make a first impression.

Have your clothing figured out in advance of the interview (see the Career Services’ packet on “Dress for Success”).

Also bring an extra copy of your resume and references in a professional portfolio; a notepad and pen/pencil; your list of questions to ask the interviewer; and any information you might need to fill out a job application. You may not need any of these “tools,” but it’s better to be over prepared.

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