The following tips will help you make the most of your opportunity.
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- Wear appropriate clothing -- nothing outrageous or controversial.
Also avoid heavy perfume or cologne and flashy jewelry. Never should
casual slacks, jeans or denim skirts be worn to an interview.
- Verify the time and place of the interview so that you can arrive
ten to fifteen minutes early. Being a little early gives you time
to fill out any paperwork required and allows you time to compose
- Remember (and use) the interviewer's name.
- Wait until your interviewer sits down or offers you a seat before
sitting. If you shake hands, give a firm grip, but don't overdo
- Maintain appropriate eye contact. Don't gaze around the room.
Also, don't stare continuously.
- Don't smoke, even if a cigarette is offered. Do not chew gum or
candy. Do not bring a cell phone into the interview.
- If asked to complete an application, do so neatly and thoroughly,
regardless of how many applications you have filled out previously,
this is the only one you have completed for this employer.
- Communicate a genuine interest in the employer's operations and
alert attention when the interviewer speaks.
- Be prepared to take control of the interview if the interviewer
consistently fails to focus on topics that relate to your skills,
talents, abilities and achievements.
- Control anxiety. It is normal to be a little nervous, but you
certainly don't want to physically shake or have your voice quiver!
The more interviewing you do, the less of a problem this will be.
No interview is wasted time. Learn from your mistakes. Critique
and polish your presentation after every interview.
- Be enthusiastic - sell the employer on your ability. Remember,
the job he/she is talking about is important to him/her and he/she
wants someone who is genuinely interested in his/her company and
his/her job opening, not someone just shopping around. Ask questions
which indicate an understanding about which the employer is concerned,
and which highlight exactly how hiring you will bring related benefits
to the company.
- Keep in mind that communication is not limited to the verbal arena.
Nonverbal communication (body language) has a major impact on the
process. Face your interviewer. Smile. Keep your posture open. Don't
cross your arms over your body.
- Never attack or criticize your former employer. State reasons
for leaving calmly, briefly and truthfully. Even if the relationship
was not a good one, emphasize the positive and what you learned.
- If asked to cite a weakness, choose one that is a "hidden
strength." For example: "I have been told that I sometimes
work too hard and don't give myself enough time to rest and recharge."
Never say anything that can really hurt your chances, such as: "I
- Customize your statements about accomplishments so that they correlate
with the position you are seeking.
- Avoid naming specific positions if asked where you see yourself
going within the company. Instead, focus on the level of responsibility
and the areas you would like to help develop within the company.
- Let the employer bring up the salary, fringe benefits and vacation.
Initially an employer has little interest in your needs. His/Her
primary interest is determining what you can do and how much you
will be worth to him/her. Leave these issues for the negotiation
phase, when you have been offered the position.
- If you want the job, do not hesitate to say that you are highly
interested in the position. In doing this, you will compliment the
employer, the company, and you may have just made the decision that
- Determine whether the employer is to call you or if you are to
call him/her. If you are not certain, ask "May I call you
(state when) for your decision?"
- Whether or not the interview has been successful, always thank
the interviewer for his/her time and courtesy.
- Follow up with a thank you letter. This is very important! There
are instances where individuals have gotten the job simply because
they were the only ones to do so.
- Leave something that will reinforce your image in the interviewer's
mind. This may include a piece of your work, a list of references,
a portfolio, or a letter of recommendation.