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The Big Mistake Most People Make When Scheduling an Interview

A recruiter calls you: “We’d like you to come in for an interview.” You’re so excited! At this point, most people make a big mistake: they fail to get all the facts they need. To help you do that, here are some questions to ask when scheduling an interview.

The information you’ll gain will enable you to arrive well prepared, knowing what to expect and not being caught off guard. You’ll look better to the interviewer and feel more confident.

You probably won’t need to ask all of these questions. Usually the recruiter will give you most of this information without being asked, and some questions may simply not apply to you. Use this list as a checklist.

1. May I ask a few questions about the interview?

This is the polite way to start, and politeness is essential.

2. Who will I be meeting with?

Find out their names, roles in the organization, and email addresses in advance if at all possible. Getting this information at the interview may be awkward, or you may be too excited and forget to ask. Besides, knowing the names in advance allows you to research people on social media and get a feel for their interests, personalities and backgrounds, which can help you establish a comfortable connection with them.

Make sure you find out how to spell people’s names so that you can address your thank-you notes properly.

3. Should I bring anything other than my resume?

If you are thinking of bringing something extra, such as work samples or a 30/60/90-day plan, ask if it’s okay to do so.

4. What’s the address I’ll be going to?

Don’t assume the interview will take place at the company’s main address.

5. Is there anything I should know about parking, or about accessing the office?

Maybe there’s onsite parking, or maybe you’ll need to park at a paid parking garage nearby and get it validated. If you need to sign in with security it’s good to know that in advance so you can allow extra time.

6. What’s the format of the interview?

Not every interview is a traditional one-on-one meeting. It might involve a group activity, testing, a presentation or case you’ll be preparing on the spot, etc. Surprises are fun on your birthday, but not at an interview.

7. About how long will the interview be?

Know what to expect, especially if you need to be somewhere afterwards – such as back at work!

8. What’s the office dress code?

If they tell you it’s very casual (e.g., t-shirts and jeans), plan on dressing in business casual. If they say business casual, plan on wearing a suit.

Keep this list handy. Get all the information you need when scheduling your interview – and be prepared!

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