The job interview is a dialogue that provides for an exchange of information between you and your potential employer. Preparation is the key to a good interview.
- Personal Appearance
Attendance, Punctuality, Reliability
- Daily Attendance
Skills Experience, Training
- Education and Training
- Life Experience
Six Phases of an Interview
1. Before the Interview
- Dress and Grooming/
- Do some Research
- Get there Early
- Final Grooming
- Waiting Room Behavior
- The Receptionist
- If the Interview is Later
2. Opening Moves
- Initial Greeting
- Eye Contact
- Distracting Habits
- Establishing the Relationship
3. The Interview Itself
- SELL, SELL, SELL yourself
4. Closing the Interview
- Summarize at the Finish
- Ask for the Job
- The Call-back Close
- Thank the Interviewer by Name
- Express Interest in the Job and Organization
- Arrange a reason and time to call back
- Say Good-Bye
5. Following Up
- Thank You Note
- Make Notes
- Follow up as Promised
6. Making the Final Decision (Points to Consider before you take your turn down a job):
- Responsibilities and duties of the job
- Hours you will have to work
- Salary and Benefits
- Location and how will you get there
- Working Condition
- Opportunity for Advancement
Points to Remember
- Make a good first impression. This is your only chance to do so.
- Arrive early. Allow for traffic or uncontrollable events. Try a test drive prior to the interview. Call if you are going to be late or you need to reschedule.
- Fill out the application completely. Never assume your resume covers everything.
- Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake. Use the interviewer’s name and establish eye contact.
- Appear positive and enthusiastic. Participate in the conversation.
- Be completely honest and sincere. Never speak negatively about a previous employer or company.
- Elaborate on your answers, but make them to the point. Never answer with only a “yes” or “no”. Listen to the question. Repeat it if necessary and think before you reply. It is all right to take a brief pause.
- Use examples or stories to explain what you mean. Look the manager in the eye. Sit on the edge of your seat. Smile. Add humor.
- Show what you can do for the company. You know what the manager is looking for. So, explain how you can help get the job done.
- Show that you are a team player. Managers are leery of people who say “I did this…” or “I did that…” When possible, say, “We did this…” or “We did that…”
- Listen for trick questions like, “What’s you greatest weakness?” Turn it into a positive. Say, “I’m a workaholic. I like to get things done before I go home.”
- Provide a list of employment references including the name, title/company, address, telephone number, and relationship to you, e.g. supervisor, neighbor, co-worker.
Ask questions of the interviewer to clarify the job and/or company specifics, e.g. duties, hours, date available, salary.
- Would you describe a typical day and the things I’d be doing?
- Which duties are most important to the job? Least important?
- What are the department’s goals for this year?
- Can someone on the job be promoted? If so, to what position?
- If hired would I report directly to you or to someone else?
- Has the company had a layoff in the last three years? If so, how long was the layoff and was everyone recalled?
- If you were to offer me this job, where could I expect to be in five years?
- Find out when a decision will be made. Will you be notified?
- Put together a closing statement. When the interview is coming to a close—Summarize your strengths. Explain why you should be hired.
- Finish on a positive note. “Thank you for the interview. I really enjoyed our conversation. I look forward to hearing from you.”
- Promptly send a thank you note to show your appreciation for the interview.
Checklist of Step to Take Before the Interview
- Select and layout what you plan to wear. Make sure everything is cleaned, pressed and appropriate. Avoid flashy clothes, excessive jewelry and strong perfume or cologne.
- Gather and review the materials you plan to take with you. Include you career portfolio, extra copies of your resume, list of references and letters of recommendation.
- Make sure you know how to get there on time. Take written instructions or a map if you are not familiar with the interviewer's location.
- Take a small notepad and two pens for jotting important notes from you interview.
- Take extra money to cover unexpected expenses.
- Get a good night's rest.