Old School Interview Tips You Should Still Use

After leading candidates through Acquirent’s 22-step interview process for several years now, I have a lot of tips on how they can differentiate from the pack.

Most of the tips are common sense and plain old good manners, but one thing they have in common is they are “Old School”. In an age where Tweeting and chatting are normal means of communication, I highly recommend taking the classy route during the interview process, and follow one if not all of the “Old School” tips listed below;

1. Letters of Recommendation. Every candidate should have three current letters of recommendation on file. Even if an interview process doesn’t include letters of recommendation, send them in anyway. Nothing can replace words of endorsement from a previous colleague, especially if the letter is well written and lacking in spelling errors.

2. Send a handwritten Thank You note. According to Forbes Magazine “While some professions have fully transitioned into the digital realm of emailed follow-ups, handwritten notes are still alive and well in others”. If anything, a handwritten note shows that you are taking the time to value someone else’s time and that is one stroke of old school genius we rarely see anymore.

3. Look sharp! It’s so easy to put on just anything when you leave the house and it takes work to look your best but what you wear on interview day is noticed by every single person you pass on your way to the interview. So dress to impress and to be seen. The night before your interview, set out a professional outfit to include socks, tights, shoes, accessories and bag. Regardless of the company culture, dress in your best business attire. Even if you’re applying for a job at Facebook, don’t wear a hoodie! Look your best; it’s the first thing most people will notice about you.

4. Hard copy of your resume. Although you can provide resumes via email, it’s great to have one on hand at the interview for several reasons – either it can function as a piece of paper to take notes on (taking notes almost always makes people look smarter, like glasses) or if several people are interviewing you, save them the time and hand over your own copy.

5. Be five minutes early. This seems so obvious but I can’t tell you how many candidates get this wrong. Be five minutes early, wait downstairs for a few extra minutes if you are earlier than that. But don’t be an hour early and don’t be one second late, show you respect the process and everyone involved in it and arrive five minutes early. ) I don’t know if this is “old school” necessarily but it’s really important!)

Granted these tips may appear “old school” but they all reflect an individual who is thinking of more than just themselves. When you’re choosing a new candidate to join a team, talent helps, humor is great, but one quality that sets someone apart is a considerate person.

Happy Job Hunting!