There’s a reason people get anxious about job interviews – they scare the crap out of you! But, remember these seven job interview best practices and you’ll do fine.
These job interview best practices are game-changers. They will sink your ship fast if you miss any of them.
Arrive On Time
The most important of all job interview best practices is punctuality. Plan your trip so that you can arrive at least five minutes early (keeping traffic and time of day in mind). It’s a huge red flag to an employer when someone is late.
It could be for legitimate reasons, but they may still hold it against you. If you are going to be late call the office and let them know – which means having their phone number with you.
If a great smile is really important for non-dental hygiene job interview best practices, imagine what it means in the dental industry. Keep the smile real, natural, and relaxed – practice in the mirror before you go.
There’s an art to conversational eye contact. Train your eye movement so as to avoid fully staring at someone or always looking away. But you also don’t want “crazy eyes” that are shifting around too much.
This, too, is something you can refine in front of your mirror or with friends. Find a comfort zone and watch how others to it to try and adopt those who you feel do it well.
Be Prepared to Share
There are two specific areas of information you will need to be prepared to share:
- Preparedness to share about you, and
- Preparedness to share about them.
Sharing about you is easier, but both are important.
The best way to answer job interview questions is through stories and examples. Stories are powerful persuaders, they resonate and foster more human-like interactions that build trust. It’s one thing to say you know how to build relations with patients, quite another to share how you do it.
But you also need to prepare to share about them. What do you know about their office? Do some homework on them so that when they ask you what you know about them, it’s obvious you took the time to understand them. Never be in the position to confess you know little or nothing.
Proper Dress and Grooming
Far be it from me to tell anyone how to dress – I enjoy variety and individualism as much as anyone. But when you go to job interviews you’ve got to look serious and confident. Dress and grooming communicates that and high levels of professionalism.
A sit-down job interview is not a casual meeting. You will be judged poorly if you don’t come dressed and groomed well. This also includes footwear, makeup, perfume, and even accessories. These are all very important in making a great impression.
Believe it or not, others in the office are watching you when you arrive and how you conduct yourself while you are waiting to be interviewed. Often times, doctors will ask how you seemed while waiting – their first impressions and such.
If the opportunity is there try to engage others in the office with a smile, a “hello” or even small talk. If you see they have a nice shirt or outfit, complement them. Complement them on their office decor or some feature of their office. That helps everyone relax and they appreciate the friendly gesture.
On the other hand, if they seem busy, try not to interfere. Be respectful.
Turn your phone on silent or even off before you enter the office. Never take or make calls while you are waiting – even if it seems like it might be a while. I would even avoid texting or appearing overly engrossed in your phone while you wait. That can be a bad signal if the previous person was let go for too much phone time. Very few employers these days have not had a bad experience with an employee spending too much time on Facebook or the Internet so you don’t want to give any hint that will be a problem for you.
Extra Job Interview Best Practices:
While those seven job interview best practices are most important, the following are also worth mentioning:
- Work on your handshake (firm – no death grip or fishy feel)
- Know exactly how to get to the office
- Get lots of rest the night before
- Eat before you go (it’s hard to hide a growling stomach)
- Avoid eating or drinking on your drive over (assume it will spill)
- Bring an extra printed copy of your cover letter, resume, and testimonial sheet
- Invest in some breath mints (nerves can bring up stomach acids)
- Play music or something that makes you happy, something with a relaxed, enthusiastic, or optimistic sound or message on the drive over
As a bonus, Christine Jahnke, author of The Well-Spoken Woman, shares some basic body language tips in this short video.