Job Tips – Interview Preparation

  1. Research. Conduct thorough research regarding the employer using all tools available, e.g. the Internet, Public Library, Journals, etc.
  2. Research. Attempt to obtain information on organizations that may be considered top competition for the organization. Understand the products that they produce and/or the services that they provide. It’s also good to know who the customers are.
  3. Obtain permission in advance from people you intend to use as reference.
  4. When possible, drive to the interview location prior to the actual day of the interview. This will ensure that you know the exact route, location, parking, etc. of your interview location.
  5. Dress appropriately for the organization/position. Even if you are interviewing on “casual Friday”, dress for your interview.
  6. Bring with you additional copies of your resume, your list of professional references, and a “cheat sheet” to assist you in completing your application, including such information as (prior) employer corporate name, address, telephone number, prior supervisor’s name and telephone number, complete dates of employment (day, month, year) and last salary earned.
  7. Arrive at the interview approximately 20 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time. This will allow you to complete any paperwork required, e.g. employment application.
  8. Be friendly with the receptionist, and anyone that you may meet/see during your wait time. Often time they may provide input regarding your demeanor during your wait time.
  9. Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and a smile. Do not be seated until asked to do so, wait for the interviewer to be seated and to indicate where they would like you to sit.
  10. Don’t let the employer’s casual approach cause you to drop your manners or professionalism. You should maintain a professional image. Don’t address the interviewer by his or her first name unless you are invited to.
  11. Don’t chew gum or smell like smoke. Don’t take cell phone calls during an interview. If you carry a cell phone, turn it off during the interview to be sure it doesn’t ring.
  12. Don’t ever interrupt the interviewer, even if you are anxious and enthusiastic about answering the question.
  13. Don’t be shy or self-effacing. You want to be enthusiastic, confident and energetic, but not aggressive, pushy or egotistic. That fine line is important. If you find yourself trying to hard to sell yourself, you are probably crossing the line. Instead, pull back, be confident and reassuring and calm.
  14. Don’t make negative comments about previous employers or professors (or others).
  15. Feel free to ask for clarification if asked an unclear question. Interviewers will appreciate your desire to provide the right answer to their question.
  16. Feel free to take a moment to think about your answer before you reply. A well thought out answer is more important than a glib, quick reply.
  17. Always end the interview with a firm handshake, a thank you, and a statement that reinforces your interest in the position, and the value you will bring to the position/organization.