Interview Help

PREPARATION

  • Research the Prospective Employer/Company
  • List your accomplishments, skills and experience.
  • Determine if you are a match for the position. Do your skills and experience match the requirements? Does the company and position fit your requirements and your goal?
  • List three reasons why you want work for this employer.
  • Prepare some smart questions to ask the recruiter/interviewer. If you've done your research, this will be easy.
  • Prepare your answers in anticipation of the most common interview questions.
  • Using your list from #3, be ready to illustrate your past successes. Painting a picture with a story helps the interviewer remember you.
  • Prepare your goodbye -- your exit line.
  • Rehearse with a friend. If possible videotape your rehearsal so you can refine your presentation.

COMMON COURTESIES

  • Arrive at least ten minutes before your interview time.
  • Smile.
  • Firm handshake
  • Be pleasant to everyone you encounter.
  • Do not eat or chew gum.
  • Don't accept an offer of food or beverage, unless it is a meeting over a meal. It is acceptable, however, to accept a glass of water.
  • Say thank you.
  • Use proper grammar.

APPEARANCE

Eighty percent of the interviewer's impression is visual. Wear clean, pressed professional attire. Make sure you are well groomed, and wear little or no cologne.

BODY LANGUAGE

Lean forward slightly to express your interest. Shoulders back and head up shows confidence. Avoid fidgeting, as it will make you seen nervous or insecure.

MIRRORING

Match your speech with the interviewer's speech rapidity and volume. There is one exception. Always maintain a positive demeanor and high energy level. You may be the interviewer's fifth interview that morning. So, your positive energy may lift the energy level of the interviewer.

PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING

  • Acknowledge with nods and affirmative comments.
  • Take notes selectively.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Ask smart questions when appropriate.

CONTENT

  • Focus on your benefit to the prospective employer.
  • Be positive and upbeat.
  • Avoid any negative comments about former employers, associates or positions -- even if true.
  • Be honest about your experience.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Avoid words or industry acronyms not understood by the general public.
  • Underplay difficulties, disappointment and challenges. Instead emphasize the experience, lessons and solutions.
  • Ask smart questions. Avoid patronizing or obvious questions.

SALARY

If asked to say what salary you desire, answer with a question like, "What range do you have in mind?" If the interviewer persists or requires an answer on the form, give a range.

Use a realistic range based on the current market. Give a broad range, and make allowances for variable such as bonuses, stock options or a guaranteed employer contribution to a 401K plan.

NEXT STEP

Make sure you know the next step in the process before you leave the interview.

GOODBYE

End the interview with a smile, firm handshake and your prepared goodbye. Be sure to thank the interviewer for their time, and offer any additional information they may need to make a decision.

Interviewing Do's and Don'ts

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