The #1 mistake I see people make is to assume the Face-to-Face interview is about their specific qualifications and how they meet the requirements for the position being discussed.

In my experience, the “in-person” interview is only marginally focused in this area, and thus largely focused on your soft skills such as having a pleasing personality, ability to build relationships, strong time management and organizational skills, and of course, your initiative and leadership capabilities.

Here are some tips I have put together to help you be successful in your Face-to-Face interview:

1. Make sure you have a nice notebook with you to take notes in. Don’t forget a pen!

2. Take several copies of your resume with you. Please make sure you are using the same version and format submitted to the Hiring Manager!

3. Make sure you have directions to the interview location. If possible, make a “dry run” the night before so you know where you are going. This is critically important! Not only will you ensure that you are on time for the interview, but you will be refreshed and relaxed (and not in a panic from being lost!).

4. Plan on being at the meeting place 15-30 minutes early. If possible, make sure you check ahead of time regarding any traffic issues to expect. This would include checking with the internet and DMV for planned construction on your route.

5. Keep a phone number handy just in case you do get stuck in traffic. If this scenario does happen, call before you are late…not after you are late.

6. Dress for success. Don’t underestimate the power of a business suit paired with nice, professional shoes. Recruiting Tip:  Make sure those shoes are not scuffed! If you are traveling for your face-to-face interview make sure you pull your clothes out as soon as you get to your hotel room. You want to ensure your suit wasn’t damaged or wrinkled while traveling and if you wait until the last minute you could be in trouble!

7. Make sure you are groomed appropriately. Your hair, jewelry, makeup and other accessories should be classic and understated. If there is any doubt, go conservative.

8. Speak concisely and slowly, sound confident and passionate about the company and the position. You must be able to articulate how working for this particular company in this particular role will enable you to work towards obtaining your overall career goals.  For more on how to prepare to answer these types of questions, review the article written titled How to Prepare for an Effective Phone Interview.

9. Be prepared for Behavioral style questions. For more on this interviewing method, please take a look at two articles I have written to assist you: Two Simple Rules of Behavioral Interviewing and “Preparing for a Behavioral Interview”.

10. Have your references ready for the Face-to-Face.  Not sure how to select great references?  Check out our article on How to Prepare for a Successful Background Check.

11. Be prepared to have a compensation discussion. If you are not sure how to handle this delicate topic, take a look at the article named “What should your Compensation Requirements be?”.

12. Close the interview! The same rule applies to the face-to-face interview as did the phone interview: You must express your interest for this job! Additionally, you should always ask for positive feedback. The best question to ask: “what skills or qualities do I possess which makes me a perfect fit for this position?

Good luck in your Face-to-Face interview!

Investing in a Lifetime of Success,

Angela Roberts



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