Plan Ahead – Nothing says “I’m not that interested in this job” like someone who has done no research and knows little about a company. It’s easier than ever to find information about a company and its activities – candidates who don’t could be perceived as lazy, unmotivated or disinterested. Do a little homework! Research the company and the position if possible, as well, the people you will meet with at the interview. Review your work experiences. Be ready to support past career accomplishments with specific information targeted toward the companies needs. Have your facts ready!
Role Play – Once you have finished studying, begin role playing (rehearsing). Use the general questions provided below in the Interview Preparation Area. Write down answers if it helps to make your presentation more concise. Try to keep your answers to the information your new employer will want to know.
Eye Contact – Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Show you want the job with your interest.
Be Positive – In particular, avoid negative comments about past employers. No matter how tempting it is to share woes from prior jobs or how much an interviewer is pushing you to do so, it’s never a good idea to say negative things about a previous employer. The interviewer will assume you will also be likely to bad mouth their company in the future. Also, avoid jokes, sarcasm, or ‘personal’ stories in an interview. The hiring manager is not a peer, so they will expect a serious or professional demeanor in an interview. An interview should be the ultimate example of how you will act on the job and treat other employees or customers.
Be honest – Interviewers don’t expect you to have all the answers. Often they are testing your reaction to “tough questions” to see how you respond under pressure. It’s much worse to get caught in a lie than admit you don’t know something. If you are unsure of an answer, it’s ok to say you don’t know but then outline the steps you would take to find out – this will demonstrate you’re a problem solver.
Adapt – Listen and adapt. Be sensitive to the style of the interviewer. Pay attention to those details of dress, office furniture, and general decor which will afford helpful clues to assist you in tailoring your presentation.
Relate – Try to relate your answers to the interviewer and his or her company. Focus on achievements relevant to the position.
Encourage – Encourage the interviewer to share information about his or her company. Demonstrate your interest. Some suggested questions to ask the interviewer are provided in the “Questions You Could Consider Asking the Employer” section.
Don’t get too personal – The last thing an employer wants to do is to hire someone who brings all their personal drama to the office. Even if the interview seems casual, always keep it professional and avoid sharing unnecessary personal information.
Prepare for these common open-ended questions – “Tell me about yourself?” “Why do you want to work here?” “What motivates you?” These questions may seem easy, but because they are so broad, candidates can get tripped up by them if they don’t know where to start or when to end.
Below are questions you may be asked in the interview.
Answer the questions on paper, or verbally. This will help you be prepared for an interviewer response.
Below are questions you may want to ask the Interviewer.
Do NOT ask all of them, pick 5 that matter to you, and that will impress the employer.
QUICK INTERVIEW TIPS
Here are the keys to successful job interviewing. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this important phase of job-hunting.
• Do plan to arrive about 10 minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable. If you are running late, do phone the company.
• Do greet the interviewer(s) by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name if you are sure of the pronunciation. (If you’re not sure, do ask the receptionist about the pronunciation before going into the interview.
• Do shake hands firmly. Don’t have a limp or clammy handshake!
• Do dress the part for the job, the company, the industry. If your not sure about dress style for the interview, be conservative/professional.
• Do greet the receptionist or assistant with courtesy and respect. This is where you make your first impression.
• If presented with a job application, do fill it out neatly, completely, and accurately.
• Do bring extra resumes to the interview. (Even better, if you have a job skills portfolio, do bring that with you to the interview.)
• Do make good eye contact with your interviewer(s).
• Do stress your achievements. And don’t offer any negative information about yourself.
• Do have a high confidence and energy level, but don’t be overly aggressive.
• Do close the interview by telling the interviewer(s) that you want the job and asking about the next step in the process.
• Don’t tell jokes during the interview.
• Don’t smoke, even if the interviewer does and offers you a cigarette. And don’t smoke beforehand so that you smell like smoke. And do brush your teeth, use mouthwash, or have a breath mint before the interview.
• Don’t using poor language, slang, and pause words (such as “like,” “uh,” and “um”).
• Don’t say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, or employers.
• Don’t answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no.” Explain whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself that showcase your talents, skills, and determination. Give examples.
• Don’t bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems.
• Don’t answer cell phone calls during the interview, and do turn off (or set to silent ring) your cell phone and/or pager.
• Don’t inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you’ve received an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements, but do try and delay salary talk until you have an offer. (You might consider visiting our salary tutorial for more tips and strategies.)
1. Dress professionally. 87% of employers have had an applicant arrive at an interview dressed inappropriately. When in doubt, remember it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.
2. Be on time. Almost 20% of employers state that they would disqualify a candidate who was 10 minutes late. Plan your route ahead of time, prepare your clothes, and fill your car with gas. Punctuality is important.
3. Turn it off. Make sure you turn off your cell phone or better yet, leave it in the car. 68% of interviewers will immediately disqualify you if you take that call.
4. Know names. Dale Carnegie says that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Learn as many names as you can before you go, pronounce them correctly, and interject them often into the conversation.
6. Engage with small talk. When you enter the interviewer’s office, they may try to break the ice with some small talk. Try to find areas of common interest and don’t rush through this important social ritual.
7. Non-verbal’s count. Ask a friend to help you identify any distracting non-verbal habits you may have such as poor eye contact, nervous gestures, or a tapping foot. Sit still, listen well, make good eye contact, and you will appear confident and competent.
8. Let the interviewer take the lead. Only sit after the interviewer sits or upon invitation. Don’t accept refreshments unless the interviewer also partakes. Let the interview proceed at the interviewer’s pace, not yours.
9. Ask questions. 82% of interviewers state that it is very important for you to ask questions. Research the company ahead of time so that your questions are informed and in keeping with the position for which you are interviewing.
10. End strong. End with one more firm handshake. Express your gratitude, and follow-up with that all important thank-you letter within 24 hours.