Acing an Interview –
Tips to Help You Land Your Next Job
An interview is the best opportunity you will have to gather information and sell yourself to a prospective employer. Investing a few minutes to prepare will help you with this critical step.
- Clarify your professional short-term and long-term goals. Be able to articulate them clearly.
- Remember all of the details and chronology of your work history, and be ready to expand on any portion of it.
- Learn as much as possible about an organization before you arrive at the interview.
Are You Able To Answer These Questions Right Now? These questions are a good place to start as you prepare for your interview:
- Why do you want to leave your current company?
- What are your short- and long-term career goals?
- Tell me about your work experience.
- What do you look for in a job?
- Why should we hire you?
- What is your biggest strength?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- What has been your most important accomplishment?
- What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
First Impressions Count!
Dress appropriately and professionally for the interview. Avoid loud colors, faddish styles and anything that will be distracting. It is better to be too conservative in dress than not enough (Suitable attire includes white shirts, dark suits, etc.). Personal grooming is a must – pay attention to the details!
Actions Speak Louder Than Words.
- Be five to 10 minutes early for your appointment, and be sure to call if you are going to be late or have to cancel.
- Be polite, alert and relaxed. Indicate a genuine interest in the interviewer through eye contact, a firm handshake and by using his or her name throughout the interview. Do not forget to smile!
- Sit up straight and avoid nervous habits. Slouching, leaning on the interviewer’s desk and moving about constantly are all irritants.
- Enthusiasm is contagious and one of the most frequently cited reasons for hire! Do not be afraid to express your genuine interest and excitement about the position, the company and their goals.
- Project self-confidence by speaking positively about your abilities, experience and willingness to acquire new skills.
But Words Do Matter.
- Answer questions in an articulate and organized manner.
- Listen carefully, and be as concise as possible in your answers. If you are not sure how much detail is wanted, ask.
- Always speak positively about former employers and experiences. Look for the educational value in your negative experiences and speak from that viewpoint.
- Relate your work experience directly to the needs of the organization. Examples of past accomplishments effectively demonstrate your abilities.
- If you are asked questions about your personal life, always keep your answers job-related.
- Save your questions on benefits, vacation, sick leave, etc. for the discussion after you have received an offer.
An interview is an important part of the hiring process. Remember:
- Prepare for it like you would for any important meeting or presentation.
- During the interview, present yourself and your qualifications confidently.
- Listen carefully, and ask appropriate questions.
- Close the interview on a positive note.