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Interviewing Pointers


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Interviewing Pointers

The following tips and pointers are useful when you are preparing for an interview with a potential employer.

  1. Always dress professionally. This is one aspect of the interview you CAN control. It is recommended that you where a suit, shirt and tie (men) or for women a suit or blouse/dress pants. Be sure that your shoes are clean, without scuffmarks and that you are neatly groomed. Be sure that your nails are clean and keep jewelry at a minimum.
  2. These qualities indicate professionalism, interest in the position and present you in a corporate manner. Always dress conservatively, avoid dangly earings that may be distracting and avoid heavy make-up.
  3. Always take clean copies of your resume and carry them in a folder or briefcase. You want to be prepared if another individual chooses to meet with you and may not have a copy of your resume.
  4. Cologne or perfume – avoid wearing colognes or perfumes. The person interviewing you may have an allergy, this would make it difficult for the interviewer to concentrate and he/she may end the interview quickly without giving you time to demonstrate your skill-set. The end result, could risk your chances of obtaining an offer.
  5. Always greet the receptionist in a positive and polite manner. (this person could be a key person in evaluating “people” skills).
  6. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, good eye contact and “smile”. The first 30 seconds sets the tone for the interview and first impressions are lasting. It is important to develop rapport with the interviewer upon initial contact.
  7. If the interviewer arrives late, don’t get annoyed. This will be evident in your interview. Remember, sometimes people get pulled into meetings or have last-minute issues to deal with. Sometimes it could be to test to your patience.
  8. Always answer your questions fully, giving examples of your work. Never answer a question with just a yes or no answer. Back-up your answer with examples.
  9. Speak clearly and be conscious of correct grammar.
  10. Be sure to maintain good eye contact. If there is more than one person in the room be sure to rotate eye contact with each individual no matter who asked the question.
  11. Don’t assume the interviewer knows or understands your background just because they have your resume, the interview is a means of assessing your skill-set for the position, as well as determining “fit” for the position. Assume the interviewer knows nothing about your qualifications by being detailed and descriptive in your answers. BE PREPARED! Know your resume inside and out…never refer to your resume to help you answer questions. You should know your job!
  12. Always remain positive, never “bad-mouth” your current or previous employers or colleagues. Provide a solid reason for wanting to leave your current position ie: looking for more challenge or growth, your current employer is downsizing…etc.
  13. Be enthusiastic! Every potential employer wants to see enthusiasm for their company. They want potential employees to be excited and keen. Show interest by doing your homework! Research to company and ask questions to show you have taken the initiative and interest to learn more about the opportunity. If you prepared questions and the interviewer was thorough and answered your questions before you had a chance to ask them, let them know this “I did have questions but you were very thorough and clear answered them for me.”
  14. Never discuss salary or benefits unless the interviewer brings this up. If they ask how much you are looking for a great answer is “I am very interested in the opportunity and am willing to consider your best offer”. If the interviewer presses for a $$ figure, give a range within what the position is offering. If you answer more that you know what the position is offering, it could immediately eliminate your chances of obtaining an offer.
  15. If you are interested in the opportunity, tell them by saying…” I am very interested in the opportunity and hope to hear from you soon.
  16. Never ask “how did I do?” in an interview or “what are my chances?” This puts the interview in an awkward position and may feel uncomfortable answering this.