You’ve been invited to an interview and know that you’ll get just one shot at winning the position behind it. How do you plan for success?

Having a strategy as to how you’re going to approach the interview, and your follow-up to the actual interview, is as powerful as being in one. Here are a few ways that will help you build your before and after strategy.

Email to Confirm Details

Send an email to the interviewer reminding them how excited you are to meet. Confirm the meeting time and place as well. Another tact to follow is setting out an agenda to outline what you’d like to cover. Three to four bullet points are sufficient.

 
 

Dress Code

When in Rome… If your research on the company doesn’t provide a guideline as to dress code, always err on the side of caution and over dress. Don’t wear a tuxedo or evening gown, but business attire seems appropriate.

Preparation and Practice

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! In making the classic movie Rainman, actor Dustin Hoffman was known to have taken and quit the role twice. He felt that someone other than him could get the character of an autistic savant portrayed more precisely.

He went on to give a stellar performance that won him a Best Actor Oscar award for his work. When asked how he finally came to peace and brilliance with his performance, he responded with, “I rehearsed and then I rehearsed again.”

Your upcoming interview was hard fought and won by you. They’re not easy to get and even harder to succeed within. Take the time to rehearse, plan and strategize to bring your best performance into the room.

Be Punctual

Leave enough time to get to the interview calmly and punctually. Make sure that your car has sufficient gas or that your ride is confirmed. Get there early. Save some time to center yourself.

As with a test in school, if you don’t know what you’re going to say, and how you’re going to respond the day of the interview, you won’t learn it in 10 minutes before the meeting. Use the time to compose yourself and to get your head in the right place.

How About a Coffee?

If you’re meeting at a Starbucks or the like, always buy the coffee or drink when appropriate.

What Comes Next?

As the interview is coming to a close, bring up next steps. Ask the interviewer about their process and when you should expect to hear from them. Ask if there is anything else that you can do to influence the decision at this point.

Appreciate Their Time

Remember to thank the interviewer for their valuable time. Share that you enjoyed the meeting, presuming that you did.

Something that is impactful to share is that you will offer to contact the interviewer if you take another position, so that they can remove you from the consideration pool. This shows that you’re in demand in the marketplace and considerate of the job that the interviewer has to do to fill this position.

Follow Up

After the interview, send a follow up email or ideally, a hand-written note to the interviewer. Make it concise but intimate in relation to what was shared by both of you during the interview. Key in on a moment, statement or reveal that the interviewer shared.

This will reinforce that you were listening and engaged in what they had to say. Reiterate that the company and position you seek is your first choice, and that you would be honored to be considered to fulfill their requirements.

Further Check In

Confirm your ability to reach out to the interviewer at certain intervals. If they don’t want you to proactively do so, now would be the time to clarify this. Conversely, should they be open to this, state that you’ll remain considerate of their time and check in randomly.

Concluding Notes

Take the time to congratulate yourself on completing the interview. Note what worked well, what needed improvement and what’s next in this pursuit. Then, point your attention toward your next target. Hopefully, you won’t need to pursue it.

Have you had to apply for a job or other position or responsibility in your 60s? What do you do before and after an interview to prepare? Please share your best practices and experiences.

Jeff HenningJeff Henning is a business leader and educator in Southern California. He is the father of 10 daughters. His expertise is in creating meaningful change within a business to drive results focused upon people, profits and planet. Jeff is the founder of Square Peg, an organization that recognizes the tremendous challenge Baby Boomers face while attempting to reinvent themselves in the new career landscape.

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