Tips for a Successful Interview
Research the company.
Do a little homework! Research the company and the position if possible, as well, as the people you will meet with at the interview. Google the company. Visit their website and check out their social networking pages. Learn as much as you can about the company’s mission, objectives, goals, and future plans. Be ready to support past career accomplishments with specific information targeted toward the companies needs.
Practice makes perfect.
Check out our Common Interview Questions (See What’s Going On) and be prepared to answer them. Write down answers if it helps you make your presentation more concise. Try to keep your answers to the information your new employer will want to know.
Be on time.
There is no excuse for being late. Blaming it on traffic or anything else doesn’t matter (even if it’s true). Be sure to have directions printed out so you know where you are going ahead of time to prevent any tardiness. Make a trial run before hand if possible so you know exactly where you’re going and the time it takes.
Make a good first impression.
You should go to the interview alone – no children or friends. Greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake.
Cell phone off.
This seems like common sense, but double and triple check that your phone is on silent before entering the interview so there are no distractions. Better yet, leave it behind if at all possible.
Dress for success.
Make sure you go into a job interview having showered and wearing clean clothes. Dress at least to the level of the position you’re applying for. If you like wearing cologne or perfume, don’t wear any on the day of the interview. What’s subtle smelling to you may be overwhelming to your interviewer.
Even though your interviewer will most likely have a copy of your resume, be sure to bring along some extra copies just in case, as well as printed-out references and a notepad and pen should you want to jot down any notes during the interview. Being prepared shows you are serious about this job.
Avoid negative comments about past employers. Bad mouthing a previous boss in a job interview is a huge negative. They may have been the worst boss in the world but expressing that in a job interview is a mistake. Be upbeat, smile and answer questions positively.
Make good eye contact.
Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Show you want the job with your interest. Staring at the floor, ceiling, or wall when speaking or listening makes you appear disinterested. Again, simple and obvious but happens way more than you’d think.
Be Adaptable & Relatable.
Listen and adapt. Be sensitive to the style of the interviewer. Pay attention to those details of dress, office furniture, pictures and general decor which will afford helpful clues to assist you in tailoring your presentation. Try to relate your answers to the interviewer and his or her company. Focus on achievements relevant to the position.
At the end of the job interview make sure you have some questions to ask. If the interviewer doesn’t offer you a chance, ask to ask. Again, it reinforces your strong interest in the job.
Say Thank You.
Thank the interviewer for his or her time and request a business card. Shake hands in closing. Send a thank you note addressed to the interviewers.