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.

Employers Expectations


  • Personal Appearance
  • Manner
  • Paperwork
  • Communications

Attendance, Punctuality, Reliability

  • Daily Attendance
  • Dependability

Skills Experience, Training

  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Education and Training
  • Life Experience
  • Achievements

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
  • Posture
  • Voice
  • 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.