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Job Searching: Interview

Tips, strategies and pointers to help in your search for employment.

Interview Do's & Don'ts

DO:

  • Bring extra copies of your resume
  • Stress your achievements and skills.
  • Give detailed answers to questions using examples.
  • Close the interview by indicating that you want the job and asking about the next step in the interview process.
  • Ask for clarification if you don't understand a question.
  • Turn your cell phone off.
  • Exhibit a positive attitude.

DON'T:

  • Rehearse your answers so much that you sound like you're reciting from memory.
  • Be late to the interview if it can be avoided. If something happens (e.g. car accident) that does make you late, call the interviewer as soon as you know that you are running behind.
  • Slouch, fidget, or chew gum while being interviewed.
  • Speak negatively about your current or previous supervisors or coworkers.
  • Bring up salary, benefits, vacation time, etc. until after you've been offered the job.

Tips to Help Make Your Job Interview Successful

After spending hours proofreading your resume, sending it out, and attending job fairs, you've been asked to come in for an interview. Interviews are your chance to sell your experiences, attitude and skills to the employer. Here are some tips to prepare for an interview and techniques that will improve your chances of being selected for the position.

1. Research

Gather information about the company's history, mission, products and/or services, and details about the position for which you are being interviewed by visiting the company's website, searching for press releases, and news articles. This shows that you are knowledgeable about the company and are really interested in working there. Then make notes of things you wants to know more about and ask the employer at the end of your interview.

2. Practice

Review common interview questions and practice answering them out loud or with someone. This will help you sound more sure of yourself and less nervous in the actual interview. Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants, while emphasizing key things you want the employer to know about you (e.g. strengths, leadership skills, ability to solve problems, etc.).

3. Dress to Impress

First impressions do matter in an interview. It is usually best to wear a dark-colored (black or blue) suit to reflect a professional attitude and have good personal hygiene. If you have a mustache or beard, it should be neatly groomed. You should avoid wearing excessive jewelry and perfume/cologne.

4. Have Good Interview Etiquette

Arrive at the interview about 10 minutes prior to the interview appointment. This gives you enough time to find parking or use the bathroom without feeling rushed.

Be polite to everyone you come in contact with at the company. You never know whose opinion will count.

Have a firm handshake, good posture and don't fidget, and make eye contact with the interviewer to convey confidence. When speaking, be polite and professional.

5. Breathe

This will help you remain calm and control your nervousness during an interview. During the interview take deep slow breaths to get oxygen to your brain.

6. Be Prepared to Ask the Interviewer Questions

It is a good idea to go into the interview with a few questions in mind. This gives you a chance to ask additional questions about the company, position, requirements and expectations of the person who will be filling the position. It also shows the employer that you're truly interested in the position.

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References

CareerOneStop (2015). Interview tips. Retrieved from http://www.careeronestop.org/JobSearch/Interview/interview-tips.aspx

Marr, B. (2015, January 25). Job interview: The all time classic do's and don'ts. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/job-interview-all-time-classic-dos-donts-bernard-marr

The Employment Guide. (2015). Tips to help make your job interview successful. Retrieved from http://www.employmentguide.com/careeradvice/interview_tips.html

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