For most jobseekers, the interview process is already nerve-wracking. Crafting a fitting cover letter, waiting to hear back on applications, talking through impromptu phone screens, interviewing in person, and waiting for a job offer or polite rejection are usual parts of the job search, but are usually never fun.
So, when asked to go in for a face-to-face interview, there are a few questions every candidate should ask to make the day less stressful.
First, ask with whom you will be interviewing. Be sure you know their names and titles. Also ask if you will meet with multiple interviewers at one time. Knowing this information beforehand allows you to be a bit more relaxed upon arrival.
Second, ask about parking and any special instructions for getting to the interview space. Parking can often be a nightmare in DC and the surrounding cities. Parking garages are usually hidden, under construction, ridiculously expensive, or all of the above. If street parking is an option, find out, and plan to arrive early enough to secure a spot that may be a block or two away. Also ask if the location is metro accessible in case that proves to be an easier mode of transportation.
Third, always ask for the phone number of the recruiter or one of the interviewers in case you’re running late or an emergency comes up. It is always imperative to call if you are running late by ten minutes or more. Many hiring managers go into an interview with a bad taste in their mouth if candidates are late and don’t call to explain.
Finally, ask if you should bring anything in addition to your resume. Some employers like to see references. Others would like another copy of the cover letter. It’s best to ask and be prepared prior to showing up.
Knowing the answers to the above questions will make your interview experience much less stressful. You will seem prepared and confident, two qualities employers are always looking for.
Andrea McCarthy is the Recruiter at Americans for Prosperity Foundation where she finds talented individuals to join the AFPF team. Advice from Andrea is a monthly column published by America’s Future Foundation’s Career Center Blog. You can reach Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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