Tips on Job Interviewing

Interviewing is a skill that can be learned. Like any other skill it takes practice and determination. These tips will help you in developing you interviewing skills.

  1. DON’T BE LATE. You should arrive ten to fifteen minutes early for the interview. This will give you time to relax and catch your breath.
  2. GO ALONE TO THE INTERVIEW Do not bring friends or relatives with you to the interview.
    • Pen and paper
    • Social security number
    • Extra copy of resume
    • List of references (Include full names, business titles, business addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three individuals who will serve as references for you. You must ask these individuals for permission, informing them that they may be contacted by an employer. Use adults whose references would be of value to you.
  4. YOUR APPEARANCE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT in making a first impression. Do not overdress or underdress. If you are not sure, ask advice from your career counselor, a teacher, or friend employed in a similar job. Dress for your interview as you would for a very important occasion. The key is to be conservative.
  5. WHEN YOU MEET THE INTERVIEWER be prepared to shake hands and introduce yourself. Know the interviewer’s name and how to pronounce it, using Mr. or Ms. Stand straight until asked by the interviewer to sit — don’t slouch.
  6. BE AWARE OF YOUR NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION Your posture, eye contact, hand gestures, and facial expressions are all very important.
    • Sit up straight in your chair, leaning forward slightly to indicate your interest in the interview.
    • Maintain appropriate eye-contact with the interviewer.
    • Use hand gestures to emphasize a point, but don’t gesture wildly or nervously. Avoid tapping your fingers, playing with your pen, or other nervous gestures.
    • SMILE!
    • Your education and previous work experience
    • Your attitude toward people and work — very few jobs do not deal with people either as coworkers or customers
    • Your future career plans as they relate to the job — your direction and motivation
  8. FOLLOW THE INTERVIEWER’S LEAD, ASKING QUESTIONS WHEN NECESSARY. Answer the interviewer’s questions completely and thoroughly, but don’t linger too long on one point. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification.
  9. LISTEN to the interviewer. The interviewer’s reflective questions will not only confirm your responses, but will often give you information helpful to your presentation.
  10. EMPHASIZE THE POSITIVE. Be self-confident and honest, dwelling on you accomplishments rather than a lack of experience or weaknesses. However, don’t exaggerate or lie — it may come back to haunt you.
  11. WAIT FOR AN OFFER TO DISCUSS SALARY. Let the interviewer bring up this subject first.
  12. EMPHASIZE WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THE ORGANIZATION. The employer is interested in the skills, knowledge, and abilities you will bring to the job.
  13. BE PREPARED. Think about how you will answer certain questions before the interview. Know your strengths, weaknesses, skills, and abilities and be prepared to discuss them. Have situations in mind to illustrate your points to give examples of your experiences. However, don’t give “set” or bookish answers.
  14. NEVER SPEAK BADLY OF A FORMER EMPLOYER, COLLEAGUE, TEACHER, OR INSTITUTION. If there were problems with previous experiences, try to put your answers in positive terms.
  15. WATCH YOUR GRAMMAR. Speak up in the interview and use good voice and diction.  Say “yes” not “yeah.”
  16. DON’T EXPECT AN OFFER ON THE SPOT. Offers usually follow the interview,  sometimes two or three weeks later. If you are not offered the job during the interview, ask about the next step in the employment process.