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  Category: Articles » Business » Employment » Article

Job Interviews - Last Minute Strategies for Success

By Tom McBroom

If you've followed good job interview tips about what to do to prepare for the interview, you're already off to a good start. Here are some last minute suggestions for things to consider when you're actually at the interview.

These are the little things that can make the difference between you and the next best person.

Show Up On Time

This is my number one interview tip and should really go without saying. As a Hiring Manager, my biggest hot button is candidates that arrive late and I've experienced this many times over the years. There is simply no excuse for it, with the exception of a major unexpected event. Get directions from the company and do a trial run. Then, plan on arriving at least 30 - 45 minutes early. This way, you'll have a cushion for any unexpected emergencies. You can use your early arrival to sit in the car and review your notes about the company, review your 30 second marketing message, or to simply relax. Plan to walk into the company about 5 minutes before your interview time.

Be Brief with Answers

When answering questions, be thorough but brief. Many times, I've had otherwise good applicants talk themselves right out of consideration because they didn't know when to stop.

Always Shake Hands

Shake hands whenever you are introduced to someone and when you say goodbye. Use a medium firm grip so that you don't appear either hesitant or overly aggressive.


Make it a point to smile when you first introduce yourself, periodically throughout the interview, and at the end when you shake hands goodbye. You want the first and last impression of you to be a good one.

Take Notes

Make sure you have a pen and tablet, ideally in a portfolio that you carry, and take a few notes during the interview. It shows you're interested in what I'm saying. But don't go overboard and write down everything I say.
Follow these interview tips and you'll make a better overall impression during your interview.

Dress Right for Your Interview

These interview tips will help you decide how to dress for your interview.
The classic advice on how to dress for an interview is still the best advice: dress one or two levels higher than the job for which you're applying. This shows respect for the company and the Hiring Manager.

For professional and management positions, a suit and tie with dress shoes is the most appropriate dress for men. For women, a formal pant suit is best, so that you don't have to worry about things like what is the proper dress length and whether or not to wear stockings. Keep jewelry to a minimum and wear shoes with conservative heels.

For trade and clerical positions, men should at least wear dress pants or "Docker" style pants, a nice long sleeve shirt with a collar, and hard-soled shoes (no athletic shoes). For women, casual or dressy pants with a sweater or blouse.
Never wear blue jeans to an interview, regardless of the nature of the job. No matter how expensive they are or how good you think they look, many Hiring Managers will immediately peg you as disrespectful and not serious about the interview.

A good general dress tip for everyone is to wear conservative colors. Avoid loud colors, unusual colors, bright checked patterns, etc. These are distracting. The interview should be about you and your qualifications.
About the Author
Tom McBroom has been a Hiring Manager for over 25 years and manages the website
Job Search Steps, which is dedicated to
helping you find a job quickly. Visit his site for complete information
about conducting a job search, writing resumes and cover letters, and interviewing.

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