Manage Your Image Prior to the Big Job Interview
Not that long ago, employers relied on interviews, reference checks and resumes to determine whether or not they wanted to hire someone. These days, business owners use a variety of other methods to decide if someone is hire-worthy. Some business owners will look into your background as part of the screening process; this may include asking you information about your educational background, any criminal records, your financial history, and the way in which you use social media, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission notes. Potential employers may also do a background check, which can include looking up a credit report and any past criminal activity, and they will probably spend some time online learning what they can about you and your activities.
Here are some interview tips to prepare for the background screening and help ensure that your image is as upstanding, responsible and professional as possible.
Since employers often use a search engine like Google to learn more about you, beat them to the proverbial punch and research yourself, Lifehacker suggests. Hopefully what pops up will be a pretty accurate representation of who you are, including recent achievements and awards, articles that may have mentioned your name, and social media profiles. If your name is fairly common or if you are in the unfortunate situation where your name is the same or close to some notorious individual, you may want to go ahead and mention this during the interview. You could even add links and URLs to accurate articles about you to your resume.
Make sure your driving record is spotless — or close to it
Many employers will want or even require that you have a clean driving record. In addition to being a good indicator of responsibility and competency, a lack of tickets and other moving violations can show your future boss that you are capable of good decision making. Of course, this is especially important if the job involves any kind of driving. If your license has expired or if you have recently moved to a new state and you have not been down to the MVD yet, do everything you can before your interview to make sure your driving records are up-to-date. For example, if you just moved and you need to get your driver’s license, you can prepare for your exam by taking the permit practice test online at DrivingTests.org.
Clean up your social media act
Chances are good the person who will be interviewing you will look you up on social media sites. Take the time and go through all of your pages and remove anything that might be remotely questionable. This includes those fun pictures taken of you at that party on your Facebook page — you may not have been doing anything wrong, but it’s probably best to err on the side of caution.
Also, as Wisconsin Job Center notes, never speak poorly of your last boss in a job interview. If you ever did any complaining about your job, boss or co-workers on social media sites, take those comments off, pronto. Assume that your potential future boss will scroll through some of your Tweets, so go back and remove any that make you look less than positive. In addition, if you have a page on LinkedIn, make sure your profile is up to date with your latest job history and references.
Take these interview tips to heart — do anything you can to make sure that whatever someone learns about you online will increase, and not decrease, your chances of being hired.