Four ways to improve your next job interview

Learn about your interviewers

They’ve almost certainly looked you up on Google, LinkedIn, and probably Facebook and Twitter too. You can do the same. For example, search their company on LinkedIn for the type of role for which you’re interviewing. Even if you can’t find people specifically, you can get an idea of the culture and skills that are important.

Come with suggestions

Show that you’re really interested. They’re investing time in you, so show that you’ve done the same. Show that you’ve thought about why this job in particular is so important. Show that you’ve taken the time to research what they do and try to understand it.

One of the best ways to prove your interest is to offer suggestions on how to improve their product, process, or some other part of the company. They may disagree with your idea, but they’ll appreciate that you took the time to try.

Don’t call it Resume.pdf

This is hardly new advice, but it’s evidently still a problem. I currently have 14 files called Resume.pdf in my default download folder alone. Put your name and something descriptive in the filename, so it’s easier to find and remember.

For example: “josh_tyler_resume_sw_engineer.pdf“

Five minutes early is much better than five minutes late

Obviously. But let me explain why.

First, it might come across as rude. You’re taking this seriously, right?

Second, if you arrive early, your interviewers might not be fully prepared. This gives you a tiny psychological edge. (If you’re into mental judo or Sun Tzu-type stuff.)

Finally, you’re possibly shortening the time available to impress with your skills. If you’re fortunate, your interviewers will have extra time to run late. But they might not.

Remember, your interviewers have to start by assuming you’re not going to get an offer. The interview is your time to prove you should. Don’t shortchange yourself.