- Apply to positions that fit your experience level.
- Be accessible – ensure you answer your phone professionally and have an appropriate voicemail message recorded.
- Check your voicemail and email and call the Recruiter back in a timely manner.
- Make sure you research the department thoroughly and know why you would like to work there.
- Learn as much as you can about the opportunity. Evaluate your own knowledge, skills and abilities and think about how you qualify for the opportunity.
- Be prepared for a variety of interview styles. Some interviewers simply ask questions from a list, some use a conversational style, and others may just say something like, “Tell me about yourself and why you want this opportunity.”
- Practice answering questions. List your skills, talents and experiences that directly apply to this opportunity so you can tell the interviewer(s) about what you can do. Watch for nervous gestures and eliminate any slang or other inappropriate language. Look online for sites with practice interview questions.
- Prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview.
- Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate.
- Dress about one level above what you would normally wear to work.
- Plan ahead so that you don’t have to scramble at the last minute about what to wear.
- Bring a nice portfolio with copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note taking.
- Know everything that is listed on your resume and be able to articulate and expand upon it.
- Be ready to explain in as positive a manner as possible why you left, or why you were asked to leave, any position on your resume.
- Arrive 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled time.
- Greet the interviewer. Offer a firm handshake. Listen carefully for the interviewer’s name and title, if you don’t already know them. Make and maintain eye contact.
- Be friendly but not too casual. Speak in complete sentences, and use a formal vocabulary. Don’t fidget, chew gum, smoke use slang during your interview or ramble during the interview.
- During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm possible. Take a moment to regroup if need be. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
- Take deep breaths. Maintain a positive attitude no matter how you think the interview is going.
- Listen carefully to each question before jumping in with your response. Ask for clarification if you are unsure of what the interviewer is getting at.
Show What You Know
- Try to relate what you know about the position when answering questions. When discussing your career accomplishments match them to what the company is looking for (job description).
- Prepare anecdotes, stories and examples that show your strengths. Describe specific situations or challenges (without being negative), the actions you took to intervene, and the results which you generated.
- Reference how you have positively impacted the business in your past jobs ‐ whether that was saving money, increasing efficiency or improving quality.
- Ask intelligent questions about the role, department or job function.
- Let the interviewer know at the end of your meeting that you are very interested in the job based on what you have learned throughout the process. Make it clear that you would welcome the opportunity to work with them, or continue on in the process.
- Make notes as soon as you leave.
- Send a follow‐up or thank you letter. Express your appreciation for the interview and restate your interest in the opportunity. Within your note, you may wish to answer a question you have missed during the interview.
- If you interview with multiple people send each one a personalized thank you note. Send your thank you note (email is fine) within 24 hours of your interview.
Job Interview Don’ts
In addition to being sure that you are doing all the right things, it’s important not to do or say the wrong things during a job interview. Acting inappropriately during a job interview, or saying something that causes concern for the interviewer will hinder your chances of getting hired.
- Criticize a previous employer, co‐worker or supervisor.
- Make false statements that could be discovered by your employer in the future. Don’t lie!
- Share any weaknesses which are central to your target job.
- Make vague, unsubstantiated assertions about your qualifications.
- Show a preference for any single interviewer in a group interview situation.
- Act like a know it all or undervalue yourself.
- Check your cell phone during your interview.
- Arrive late for your interview.
- Enter the employer’s facility more than 20 minutes prior to the interview.
- Dress too casually
- Act like you could take or leave the job.
- Talk too much.
- Joke around excessively.