Bring Printed Copies of Your Resume
Yes, you've e-mailed your resume to the company. Your online profiles are updated and your LinkedIn profile is impeccable but even in this digital age, according to Mitchell, always bring at least two printed copies of your resume to the interview. "Don't even try to use the 'my printer's out of ink' or 'my printer died,' excuse. Trust me, I've heard that one a million times, "Mitchell says.
In fact, in one instance Mitchell recalls, a candidate followed up that excuse by still producing printed copies of her resume - she'd emailed the file to FedEx/Kinko's and had it printed. "That helped her in two ways. First, she showed perseverance - she encountered an obstacle to a successful interview and figured out a way to overcome it, and second, she was able to use that story to show those qualities of persistence and out-of-the-box thinking in the interview, "Mitchell says.
Become an Expert on the Company
Whether the job you're applying for is your "dream job" or another rung on the ladder of your career, make sure to educate yourself about the ins-and-outs of the company. "You need to be genuinely interested in who we are, what we do and why, because that's going to come across to me in an interview," says Mitchell.
Public companies can be researched via Google or other Internet searches, or through LinkedIn, Glassdoor and other sites. For more on researching prospective employers please read, Top 8 Sites for Researching Your Next Employer.
In the interview itself, Mitchell says don't shy away from small talk, especially when it comes to the company, or if you've uncovered common interests shared with your interviewer. "Don't be afraid of small talk, but make sure you're not taking it overboard, "says Mitchell.
Using publically available information, you can usually find a common interest, even if it's just the fact that you're both huge fans of the company. "If you know everything there is to know about the company, what their goals are, who the competition is, what obstacles they've faced and overcome, that gives you a great basis for an ongoing conversation about how you can fit in," says Mitchell.
Never Badmouth Your Previous Employers
The best employees are never negative. If you are asked why you left your previous position or were let go, sure, be honest, but don't place blame or speak negatively about your previous, role, boss or organization. "Insightful employers are going to interpret any negativity to mean that you are the problem - especially if you cite the same reason for your last few employers," says Mitchell.
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