Interviews can be stressful and exhausting experiences, but they don’t have to be if you practice and prepare in advance. Some key things to remember before your next interview:
1. Prepare for the interview
Make a list of the skills you have which may be pertinent to the position you are applying for and be able to articulate these skills. Be ready to answer difficult questions such as: “Why should I hire you?” and “What are your strengths?” Practice answering these and other questions with a friend or relative.
Know the company
Learn as much as you can about the company before you interview so you present yourself as well educated and interested during the interview. Find out how many people work for the company, the kinds of products and services it offers, whether or not they operate internationally, what their profit trends are, etc.
Be clean, professional, conservative and wrinkle-free. Wear a minimum of jewelry; use fragrances sparingly; avoid too much make up; make sure your shoes are shined; and, be sure to check your appearance before you leave the house.
Bring these items with you
A list of questions, two copies of your resume (or more for group interviews), your list of references, a pen and a notebook
Know the interviewer’s name
Do not call the interviewer by his or her first name unless you are invited to do so. Always use Mr. or Ms.
Arrive on time
Double check the time of the interview and the location. Plan to arrive 10- 15 minutes early (but no earlier) and make sure you have excellent directions on how to get there.
2. During the interview
Remember, first impressions are extremely important.
- Be Friendly
- Show how happy you are to be there
- Firmly shake the interviewer’s hand if it is offered
- Don’t be afraid to smile
- Lean slightly forward to look interested
- Try to sit comfortably without looking too casual
- Project an enthusiastic and confident voice
- Try not to speak too soft or too loud
- Look at the interviewer breaking eye contact less than occasionally
- Not looking into the interviewer’s eyes may be perceived as you being insecure or dishonest
Avoid these Habits
- Do not play with your hair, clothing or nails
- Avoid saying “You know?” or “Uhh”, or other phrases like these, too many times
- Video tape yourself or have a trusted friend observe you before the interview to familiarize yourself with any distracting habits