Tips for Interviewing
The job interviewing stage of your job search
is the most critical. You can make or break
your chance of being hired in the short amount
of time it takes to be interviewed. Anyone
can learn to interview well, however, and
most mistakes can be anticipated and corrected.
Learn the following top 25 interviewing techniques
to give you that winning edge.
Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview.
Nothing shows less preparation and readiness
than being asked for another copy of your
resume and not having one. Come prepared with
extra copies of your resume. You may be asked
to interview with more than one person and
it demonstrates professionalism and preparedness
to anticipate needing extra copies.
Dress conservatively and professionally. You
can establish your uniqueness through other
ways, but what you wear to an interview can
make a tremendous difference. It is better
to overdress than underdress. You can, however,
wear the same clothes to see different people.
Be aware of your body language. Try to look
alert, energetic, and focused on the interviewer.
Make eye contact. Non-verbally, this communicates
that you are interested in the individual.
First/last impressions. The first and last
five minutes of the interview are the most
important to the interview. It is during this
time that critical first and lasting impressions
are made and the interviewer decides whether
or not they like you. Communicate positive
behaviors during the first five minutes and
be sure you are remembered when you leave.
Fill out company applications completely --
even if you have a resume. Even though you
have brought a copy of your resume, many companies
require a completed application. Your willingness
to complete one, and your thoroughness in
doing so, will convey a great deal about your
professionalism and ability to follow through.
Remember that the purpose of every interview
is to get an offer. You must sufficiently
impress your interviewer both professionally
and personally to be offered the job. At the
end of the interview, make sure you know what
the next step is and when the employer expects
to make a decision.
Understand employers' needs. Present yourself
as someone who can really add value to an
organization. Show that you can fit into the
Be likeable. Be enthusiastic. People love
to hire individuals who are easy to get along
with and who are excited about their company.
Be professional, yet demonstrate your interest
Make sure you have the right skills. Know
your competition. How do you compare with
your peers in education, experience, training,
salary, and career progression? Mention the
things you know how to do really well. They
are the keys to your next job.
Display ability to work hard to pursue an
organization's goals. Assume that most interviewers
need to select someone who will fit into their
organization well in terms of both productivity
and personality. You must confirm that you
are both a productive and personable individual
by stressing your benefits for the employer.
Market all of your strengths. It is important
to market yourself, including your technical
qualifications, general skills and experiences
as well as personal traits. Recruiters care
about two things -- credentials and personality.
Can you do the job based on past performance
and will you fit in with the corporate culture?
Talk about your positive personality traits
and give examples of how you demonstrate each
one on the job.
Give definitive answers and specific results.
Whenever you make a claim of your accomplishments,
it will be more believable and better remembered
if you cite specific examples and support
for your claims. Tell the interviewer something
about business situations where you actually
used this skill and elaborate on the outcome.
Don't be afraid to admit mistakes. Employers
want to know what mistakes you have made and
what is wrong with you. Don't be afraid to
admit making mistakes in the past, but continuously
stress your positive qualities as well, and
how you have turned negatives into positive
Relate stories or examples that heighten your
past experience. Past performance is the best
indicator of future performance. If you were
successful at one company, odds are you can
succeed at another. Be ready to sell your
own features and benefits in the interview.
Know everything about your potential employer
before the interview. Customize your answers
as much as possible in terms of the needs
of the employer. This requires that you complete
research, before the interview, about the
company, its customers, and the work you anticipate
doing. Talk in the employer's language.
Rehearse and practice interview questions
before the interview. Prior to your interview,
try to actually practice the types of questions
and answers you may be asked. Even if you
do not anticipate all of the questions, the
process of thinking them through will help
you feel less stressed and more prepared during
the interview itself.
Know how to respond to tough questions. The
majority of questions that you will be asked
can be anticipated most of the time. There
are always, however, those exceptional ones
tailored to throw you off guard and to see
how you perform under pressure. Your best
strategy is to be prepared, stay calm, collect
your thoughts, and respond as clearly as possible.
Translate your strengths into job-related
language of accomplishments and benefits relevant
to the needs of employers. While you no doubt
have specific strengths and skills related
to the position, stress the benefits you are
likely to provide to the employer. Whenever
possible, give examples of your strengths
that relate to the language and needs of the
Identify your strengths and what you enjoy
doing. Skills that you enjoy doing are the
ones that are most likely to bring benefit
to an employer. Prior to the interview, know
what it is that you enjoy doing most, and
what benefits that brings to you and your
Know how you communicate verbally to others.
Strong verbal communications skills are highly
valued by most employers. They are signs of
educated and competent individuals. Know how
you communicate, and practice with others
to determine if you are presenting yourself
in the best possible light.
Don't arrive on time -- arrive early! No matter
how sympathetic your interviewer may be to
the fact that there was an accident on the
freeway, it is virtually impossible to overcome
a negative first impression. Do whatever it
takes to be on time, including allowing extra
time for unexpected emergencies.
Treat everyone you meet as important to the
interview. Make sure you are courteous to
everyone you come in contact with, no matter
who they are or what their position. The opinion
of everyone can be important to the interview
Answer questions with complete sentences and
with substance. Remember that your interviewer
is trying to determine what substance you
would bring to the company and the position.
Avoid answering the questions asked with simple
"yes" or "no" answers.
Give complete answers that show what knowledge
you have concerning the company and its requirements.
Let the interviewer know who you are.
Reduce your nervousness by practicing stress
reduction techniques. There are many stress-reducing
techniques used by public speakers that can
certainly aid you in your interview process.
Practice some of the relaxation methods as
you approach your interview, such as taking
slow deep breaths to calm you down. The more
you can relax, the more comfortable you will
feel and the more confident you will appear.
Be sure to ask questions. Be prepared to ask
several questions relevant to the job, employer,
and the organization. These questions should
be designed to elicit information to help
you make a decision as well as demonstrate
your interest, intelligence, and enthusiasm
for the job.