- Arrive ten minutes early for your interview.
- Turn your cell phone off and do not chew gum.
- Keep your personal items in your left hand so you are ready to shake hands with the interviewer.
- Be honest and sincere.
- Be polite, alert, and relaxed. Show a genuine interest in the interviewer with eye contact and always remember to smile.
- Watch your body posture and body language. Slouching, leaning on the interviewer’s desk, and moving around are distracting.
- Do not be afraid to express your genuine interest in and excitement about the position, the company, and its goals. Enthusiasm is the most frequently cited reason for hiring.
- Project self-confidence by speaking positively about your abilities, experience, and willingness to acquire new skills.
- Try to avoid all negativity, or put positive spins on any negatives (i.e. if you lack a particular skill, talk about the relevant skills you do have and your desire to learn).
- Clarify your professional short- and long-term goals. Be able to articulate them clearly.
- Make sure you have a copy of your resume and references available to fill out employment applications.
- Learn as much as possible about an organization before you arrive at the interview. Good sources are the company’s website, annual reports and trade journals.
- Practice answering the standard interview questions.
- Allow at least one hour for your interview.
- Keep your answers specific and concise. Try to maintain a good balance of conversation with your interviewer. Try to limit answers to one or two minutes.
- Listen carefully and answer questions in an articulate and organized manner. Avoid simply answering “yes” or “no”, if possible.
- Be patient with your answers. If necessary, take a moment before answering a question. Ask the interviewer to clarify the question, if needed.
- Always speak positively about former employers and experiences.
- Relate your work experience directly to the needs of the organization. Examples of past accomplishments effectively demonstrate your abilities.
- If you are asked questions about your personal life, use them as opportunities to emphasize how well you balance your personal and professional life.
- Save all benefit and compensation questions for a final interview or when you receive a formal offer.
- Remember, it’s a two-way conversation that you and the interviewer can gain something from the interview.
- You may go through multiple interviews with a company prior to being offered a position. Your main goal during any interview is to get a job offer or, at the very least, an additional interview.
- For the employer, the interview is an opportunity to gather more information about you. A resume, testing and an application only tell you so much.
- The employer wants to know how you will fit in, your work style, motivations, experiences and training you have relevant to the position.
At The End of the Interview
- Prior to the end of the interview, express your interest in the company and the position.
- Be sure to thank the interviewer for his or her time and leave on a positive note.
- Always send a thank you note or email to the hiring manager. Keep it brief and to the point, expressing your interest in the company.
Prepare for these Standard Questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why do you want to leave your current company?
- What are your long-term and short-term career goals?
- What do you look for in a job?
- What do you know about the company?
- Why should we hire you?
- What is your biggest strength?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- How would your last boss and colleagues describe you?
- What has been your most important accomplishment?
- What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
- If they should ask, be prepared to name a salary range.
Questions To Ask:
While you should always customize questions for a particular company or job, here are a few suggested questions for you to ask your interviewer:
- How long have you been in your position?
- What do you like best about working for ABC?
- What do you like best about your position?
- What are your expectations for this position?
- What will be the biggest challenge in this role?
- Do you have any concerns about my job qualifications? This gives you the opportunity to overcome those concerns with reasons why you are qualified.
- You have about 30 seconds to make an impression. Whether it is your image, personality or qualifications, make those 30 seconds work for you. Your resume should be a one-page summary of your work experience, education and qualifications.
- Keep sentences short.
- Use bulleted statements, not paragraphs, to describe your job duties.
- Use simple, clean fonts.
- Use your computer's spell check function. Remember, the computer can't tell the difference between words like "too" and "to".
- Since many companies screen resumes by computer, use key words from the job description or classified ad in your resume.
- List your most recent job followed by your additional work experience in reverse chronological order.
- State: "References available on request." Interviewers assume that you will provide references when asked.
- Use "I", the first person pronoun, in your resume. It's understood.
- Overuse professional jargon or abbreviations.
- Use puns or clever wordplays.