Before your interview begins

We all know that first impressions are vital. What is on your walls behind you, your initial facial expressions, and other visual cues all convey important information about you. Here are some tips on what to look out for:

  • What you’re reading: Instead of taking out the book that you’ve been wanting to finish, peruse industry magazines in the waiting room (if they’re available).
  • What you’re wearing: Be aware of the company culture and industry; think twice before wearing costly (and potentially flashy) items. Check out our Interview Attire Guide for more details. Also, if you have long hair, pull it back! You don’t want to fidget with it during interviews, or have it cover your eyes.
  • What you’re using: Bring a decent pen that writes smoothly, along with some paper, in case you need to scrawl down some notes. Also, be prepared with throat lozenges and Kleenex, in case your body chooses just the wrong moment to start picking up a winter cold.
  • What you’re not using: Make sure that your phone is off, not just on vibrate. During our time as interviewers, we have been distracted by candidates’ vibrating phones more times than we care to remember!
  • What you’re saying: Remember, interviewers are often walking through interview facility lobbies and also need to use restrooms. Pick a place OUTSIDE of the interview site to debrief with a friend or make a phone call recounting performance.