Research the company, product lines and competitors. Research will provide information to help you decide whether you are interested in the company and important data to refer to during the interview.
Practice saying your key strengths. It is essential that you comfortably and confidently articulate your strengths. Explain how your strengths relate to the company’s or department’s goals and how they might benefit the potential employer. If you repeat your strengths then they will be remembered and —if supported with quantifiable accomplishments — they will more likely be believed.
Prepare five or more success stories. In preparing for interviews, make a list of your essential skills and key assets. Reflect on past jobs or experiences.
Include concrete, quantifiable data. Interviewees tend to talk in generalities. Unfortunately, generalities often fail to convince interviewers that the applicant has assets. Include measurable information and provide details about specific accomplishments when discussing your strengths.
Keep your answers brief and concise. Unless asked to give more detail, limit your answers to one or three minutes per question. You may want to tape yourself and see how long it takes you to fully answer a question.
Maintain a conversational flow. By consciously maintaining a conversational flow — a dialogue instead of a monologue — you will be perceived more positively. Use feedback questions at the end of your answers. Use body language and voice intonation to create a conversational interchange between you and the interviewer.
Ask questions. The types of questions you ask and the way you ask them can make a tremendous impression on the interviewer. Good questions require advance preparation. Just as you plan how you would answer an interviewer’s questions, write out specific questions you want to ask. Then look for
opportunities to ask them during the interview. The interview process is a two-way street whereby you and the interviewer assess each other to determine if there is an appropriate match.
If appropriate, bring along samples of your work. These aids will convey information about your skills and abilities that your resume cannot.
Image is often as important as content. What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say. Studies have shown that 65% of the conveyed message is nonverbal; gestures, physical appearance and attire are highly influential during job interviews.
Dress like the serious professional you will soon be. If you have a suit, wear it. If not, plan to wear a sports jacket, collared shirt, tie and slacks (if you are a male) or a pantsuit or blazer, blouse and skirt (if you are a female). Choose dark colors — they convey an air of authority. Practice your smile, good
posture, and firm handshake. Leave flashy jewelry and strong scents at home. Dress conservatively. Your clothes should be fresh, neat and pressed. Your hair should be neat and professional looking. As a rule, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Follow up. Make sure you leave your interview with the business card of your interviewer. Write a brief thank you note and send it within 24 hours of the interview. Use this opportunity to thank your interviewer for his/her time, and reiterate your interest in the position.
Adapted from: “Ten Rules of Interviewing”; www.careerplanit.com; and Pepperdine University Career Center.
Things to keep in mind:
The four categories of selling yourself are: enthusiasm, sincerity, tact and
Even if you don’t believe in yourself, try to make the interviewer think that you
do. Keep your doubts to yourself.
An undiscovered lie will haunt you. A discovered lie will destroy your credibility
Write down the time and place of the interview. Make sure to get directions to
the location of the interview and write down the name of the interviewer.
Arrive early for the interview. Bring cash and change just in case you have to pay
Bring 2-6 additional copies of your resume and your references on professional looking
Bring a professional portfolio and pen with you to the interview. A demonstrated
interest in taking notes helps show you are seriously interested in the job.
Remember the interviewer’s name. Practice saying the correct pronunciation.
Don’t let rejection erode your confidence. Look at things from this perspective:
before the interview you didn’t have an offer. The worst thing that can happen is that after the interview you still don’t have an offer.