Career Tips

Interview Guide

The big day is here! You've been invited to a face-to-face interview with a prospective employer. Are you prepared for the interview? Don't ever go into an interview cold. Statistics show that the interviewer will decide whether or not you may be a fit for the position within the first five minutes of the interview so it's imperative that you make a good impression immediately. If you're new to job hunting, prepare and practice, practice, practice. For sample questions that you may have to answer in an interview see Common Interview Questions.

Interview Do's

  • Drive by the location where you're interviewing the day before so that you know its exact location and how much time you need to get there.
  • Your research and know the type of job you'll be interviewing for, and the name of the person you'll be interviewing with.
  • Dress the part for the job, the company, the industry. If you're in doubt, err on the conservative side.
  • Greet the receptionist or assistant with courtesy and respect. This is where you make your first impression. Quite often the hiring authority will rely on the receptionist's or assistant's opinion.
  • Bring extra resumes to the interview. If you're given an application, fill it out neatly, completely, and accurately.
  • Shake hands firmly, make good eye contact, and show enthusiasm for the position and the company.
  • Avoid conversational topics unless the interviewer starts the conversation.
  • Stress your achievements.
  • Show what you can do for the employer rather than what the employer can do for you.
  • Ask intelligent questions about the position, company, or industry.
  • Ask for the job.
  • Write thank you letters within 24 hours to each person you interviewed with.
  • When asked a question, think about the question before answering it.

Interview Don'ts

  • Be late for the interview. If you are running late, telephone the company.
  • Memorize or over-rehearse answers to interview questions.
  • Chew gum during the interview.
  • Tell jokes during the interview.
  • Smoke before the interview so that you smell like smoke.
  • Be soft-spoken. A forceful voice projects confidence.
  • Act as though you are desperate for employment.
  • Say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, or employers.
  • Bring up or discuss personal or family issues.
  • Inquire about salary or benefits until after you have received an offer.
  • Ramble on when answering a question. Your answer should relate only to the question asked.

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Common Interview Question:
What qualities do you possess that makes you think that you would be successful at this job/career? Focus on qualities that are important to this type of work and then emphasize those qualities.

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