Interview Tips

Be Professional

  • 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).

Be Prepared

  • 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.

Be Clear

  • 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.

Be Confident

  • 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.

  Resume Writing

  • 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.
  • Don't
    • Use "I", the first person pronoun, in your resume. It's understood.
    • Overuse professional jargon or abbreviations.
    • Use puns or clever wordplays.