Interview Tips

To help you prepare for your big day, we have prepared some INTERVIEW TIPS for you. Read the tips below for helpful advice on making the most of your interview opportunity, including:

The day before the interview

  • Confirm babysitting arrangements.
  • Make your travel plans for getting to the interview.
  • Know exactly where you are going and how long it will take you to get there.
  • Allow plenty of travel time so you will NOT be late.
  • Know the name and phone number of the person you are to meet.
  • Be sure you have gas in your car.
  • Have several clean copies of your resume to take with you.
  • Decide what you will wear and check that it is clean, pressed, no missing buttons, etc.
  • Have two pairs of hose; just in case there is a run at the last minute.
  • Learn two or three facts about the company and/or its products so you can sound informed at the interview.
  • Confirm any plans that leave you depending on someone else. Have a back-up person in mind in case you need it.

The night before the Interview

  • Check the weather forecast. Will you need an umbrella? Will you need a coat?
  • Have clothing and shoes clean and ready to wear. Select a suit or skirt and jacket that reflects an attitude of the business, commerce or industry you are interviewing. Select accessories (no extremes and not too much).
  • Prepare your handbag. Be sure to include the following items: black ink pen, notepad, calendar, breath mint (to be eaten before the interview) and an extra pair of hose.
  • Unload unnecessary items from purse. (Leave pagers and cell phones at home or be sure they are turned off.)
  • Plan how you will wear your hair and makeup. (You shouldn’t try anything new the morning of the interview.)
  • Check your nails. They should be conservative in length and color; no chipped polish.
  • Do as much of your morning preparation for both yourself and your family as you can.
  • Do something to relax; take a warm bath, exercise, etc.
  • Have a light dinner (no alcohol) and get to bed early.

The day of the Interview

  • Eat breakfast; avoid too much coffee or sugar.
  • Take care of personal grooming and hygiene. Be sure no body odors are evident in your clothes or yourself.
  • Hair should be clean with a cut and style that is appropriate for your face and for business wear.
  • Be sure hands and nails are clean and not overdone.
  • Brush teeth and put on deodorant.
  • Makeup should enhance your face and not be overdone.
  • Keep eye makeup minimal.
  • Avoid strong scented perfumes and tattoos should be covered.
  • Shoes should be polished or brushed clean (not scuffed); prefer closed toes, no sandals, clogs or all-strap shoes.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview and to get comfortable and find the restroom.
  • Remember to take directions to the interview, the name and phone number of the person you are meeting, your resume and other relevant items with you.
  • Observe your surroundings, get a feel for the workplace.

The Interview

  • Be on time and don’t feel frustrated if you have to wait.
  • SMILE; it increases your face value.
  • Make eye contact; extend your hand and have a firm handshake. You should shake hands both when you arrive and when you leave.
  • Sit up straight; no lounging, pay attention.
  • Show that you are interested in the job.
  • Answer all questions as positively as possible. (Personal problems should be kept private.)
  • Tell the truth.
  • Ask a question that shows your interest.
  • Thank the person for the interview.
  • Following the interview, send a written note telling the interviewer you appreciated the interview and you are very interested in the job.

DO’S AND DON’TS

  • DO tell yourself you deserve the job. (That doesn’t mean they owe it to you. You must convince them.)
  • DO introduce yourself by name first. “Hello, my name is ______.” Use your first and last name. Look the person in the eye and speak clearly.
  • DO take out your pen and notepad to take notes – or look prepared.
  • DO be friendly. Give a firm handshake, smile and speak up. A little small talk to start is fine. For example, comment on the nice surroundings or a book you notice on the shelf.
  • DO keep your temper no matter what happens.
  • DO try to define your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t try to think of our very worst negatives – turn negatives into positives such as: “I’m overly responsible; or “I’m incredibly organized.”
  • DO be prepared to talk about your professional goals.
  • DO be enthusiastic, courteous and alert throughout the entire interview.
  • DO sit calmly – if you tend to gesture a lot when you talk, try clasping your hands in your lap.
  • DO feel free to explain how well your special skills match up with the employer’s needs.
  • DO ask for a business card so that you can send a short and prompt thank you note.
  • DON’T bring a friend or child to the interview.
  • DON’T be insincere – fake flattery shows.
  • DON’T wear flashy jewelry (keep it simple and small) or facial piercing.
  • DON’T flirt, even if the interviewer flirts with you – be friendly but businesslike.
  • DON’T use the word “fired” or mention that you didn’t get along with a past supervisor.
  • DON’T be afraid to ask why this company would be a better employer that its competitors.
  • DON’T start with questions about your salary or about not working – such as, “How much vacation do I get?”
  • DON’T be afraid to say, “I really want this job; I know I could make a real contribution.” Stress what you can do for the company rather than why you need the job.
  • DON’T slump, yawn, smoke, chew your nails or chew gum during the interview.
  • DON’T panic if you trip, knock something over or drop something. Show how cool you are under pressure.