BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
- Do a little self-assessment: identify your strengths, goals, skills, interests, etc.
- Research the company.
- Rehearse what you plan to say. Practice answers to common and uncommon questions.
- Prepare good questions for the employer, questions that pertain only to the job.
- Arrive a few minutes early.
- Go alone. Do not bring friends or family with you to an interview.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
- Greet the interviewer by his last name and offer him a firm handshake and warm smile.
- Be aware of non-verbal communication.
- Wait until you are offered a seat.
- Sit up straight, look alert, speak clearly and forcefully, but stay as relaxed as possible.
- Make good eye contact, avoid nervous mannerisms and try to be a good listener as well as a good talker.
- Don’t forget to smile and use humor when appropriate.
- Be specific, concise and detailed in your answers. The more pertinent job-related information you offer, the better the employer can evaluate your potential and abilities.
- Offer examples of your work that document your best qualities.
- Be truthful. Don’t be evasive and try not to answer more than necessary. Answer all questions and stick to the point. Remember, you usually have only 30 minutes for an interview.
- Dress professionally and be well groomed.
CLOSING THE INTERVIEW
- Don’t be discouraged if no definite offer is made or specific salary discussed. The first interview is usually only a screening interview.
- If you get the impression that the interview is not going well or that you have already been rejected, do not let your discouragement show. Once in a while, an interviewer who is genuinely interested in you may seem to discourage you to test your reaction.
- Be sure to have questions for the interviewer. Prepare them in advance and ask those that weren’t covered during the interview. It is expected of you to ask questions. Good questions show a real interest in the job and an eagerness to learn.
- Thank the interviewer for his time and express your interest in the position.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
- Send a “thank you” letter to the interviewer.
- Assess the interview. List improvements that you could make.
- Follow up with a phone call.
- If you do not get the job, continue your job search.