How to do a Face to Face Interview Like a Champ

You passed your phone interview with flying colors and now you have your first in person interview. Congrats! Here are some tips to help you nail it:

  • Dress for the job. This can be complicated these days. Are you interviewing at an Investment Bank or a small start up? This will help determine what you should wear to the interview. Do your research on what the office dress code is so you can fit in. When in doubt, dress more formally than you think. Whatever the culture, don’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt for the interview even though that may be what other employees wear. Khakis and a button down for guys and nice pants and top for women is a safer bet for the first Interview.

  • Arrive early, and be friendly to the receptionist or whoever you meet in the waiting room. This matters!

  • Come prepared: bring extra copies of your resume, a pad and a pen. You may be meeting multiple people so you want to give your your resume if necessary. Pad and pen essential for note taking.

  • A first impression is made within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. Make yours count. A firm handshake, warm smile and eye contact are musts for making a good first impression. Remember, people want to hire people who the like. So your first impression is critical.

  • Practice, practice, practice! I can’t stress this enough. Be prepared to answer the question: “Tell me about yourself”. This is NOT a recitation of your resume. They have that. Use this occasion to talk about how your strengths, skills and accomplishments make you a good fit for the job.

  • Do you research. You will be asked “why do you want to work at XYZ company”. Know why and go beyond their website. Following companies on Twitter, and looking at recent news articles about the company will give you up-to-the minute intel on what is going on there.

Finally, be prepared with questions. And remember to ask what the next steps are in the interview process. If you are happy with the interview, and feel excited about the job, tell them! Don’t be afraid to let them know that you want the job and want to work at the company. Companies want to hire people who are enthusiastic about the company so don’t forget to let them know.

Pamela Weinberg