In the past, we have discussed how to prepare for all kinds of interviews, from specific ones, like phone interviews, to more general guides, like our Complete Guide to Job Hunting. Despite the guide we have made so far, we are far from covering each aspect of the interview process, so we have decided that now is the perfect time to help you prepare for an on-site interview.
This stage usually happens after a phone or video interview. Rarely is this the first interview in the process, but it is possible, so make sure to reach any interview invitations clearly to know with who, when, and where it will be taking place. For this interview, remember that you are interviewing them exactly as much as they are interviewing you, so your attention will need to be split between the interview itself and your surroundings to see if this is a place you would be comfortable in.
With so much to keep in mind, preparation work becomes even more important. Follow these tips for preparing for an on-site interview and it will make the day much easier for you to take in stride.
The Week Before
As early as a week before the interview, there are some important things to have set aside. The last thing you want to do is worry about rushing to find something the night before or the day of, so giving yourself at least a week is a great way to take the pressure off of your shoulders. Follow these tips to do just that:
- Find an outfit
- You want to be wearing blues, browns, blacks, soft pinks, or something similarly neutral. The general rule is to dress one step up from the company’s standard for work attire. If the attire is usually casual, dress business casual.
- Print out at least 3 copies of your resume
- 3 is the general rule for if you are unsure about the amount of people in the meeting. If you know how many people will be there, print out that many resumes and at least 1 extra, just in case you or a last-minute addition needs it.
- Find a nice folder for your paperwork
- Ensure that any necessary identification or licenses are valid and set them aside
- Start thinking of questions for the interview that you would like to ask the facility.
The Night Before
The night before can feel very stressful. You know the day is essentially here, so now is not the time to panic about last-minute things. Here, you are simply going to hone what you have already been putting together.
- Iron or steam your clothing and hang it up so that it is wrinkle-free in the morning.
- Collect your resume, documents, and licensure in the prepared folder.
- Place these items near the door or under your keys so that you will have to see them on your way out and will not forget them.
- Sit down for a few minutes and review the questions that you have written for yourself throughout the week
- Try to separate them into long-term, short-term, and immediate questions. Set aside 3-5 of each and write them in your folder. Ensure that there is extra paper for you to record their answers or for you to write new questions throughout the interview. Expect to only ask 1-2 of each of these sections of questions at the end of the interview.
- Set alarms for waking up and for 5 minutes before you need to leave the house.
- Look up the route you need to take to ensure that you will have plenty of time, even with traffic.
The Day Of
You have made it! It is interview day. While some people might panic on this day, you should not because you’ve already taken the panic out of the situation. Follow through on these last tips and know that you have prepared yourself for success.
- Get the jitters out
- It may take a minute or two after waking up but it is likely that you will start to feel nervous. Tire yourself out a bit with either some physical exercise or mind games as they use up that excess energy and hyper-awareness and will allow you to relax a bit.
- Get ready as you normally would in the morning
- Following your normal routine will help you settle in to the day’s plan
- Ensure all your documents are together where you left them
- Reread the questions you have prepared and glance over your resume
- You want to sound prepared and relaxed during the interview, so rereading these documents will help you remember the material from the get go.
- At the 5-minutes-to-leave alarm, collect your items, take a deep breath, and get in the right mindset of someone who is confident, but not arrogant, in their skills and is excited for their new (possible) role.
- Leave early enough to arrive around 10 minutes early but no more than 15.
- This shows the facility that you respect their time and are excited to meet with them.
- Most important of all is to simply be yourself.
- If you put on a false face during an interview, it could easily backfire, so be yourself!
After your interview is over and you are safely home, take a moment to email your contact in the facility and thank them. If you are no longer interested in the role due to the interview that day, you can politely let them know that you are bowing out, but if you are still interested, a thank you email that mentions your excitement to get started in the new role can leave a great impression.
If you are looking for someone who can help you through this process and future parts, such as contract negotiations and more, then Radius recruiters are here for you! Apply to an open job here or send us an updated resume here to connect with a specialized recruiters who will assist you every step of the way!