Are you looking for a permanent or temporary position? Getting in the door often requires performing well on the job interview. Here are some interview tips to help you succeed.
Ten Tips for a Successful Job Interview
- Do your homework. Research the company and its full range of products and/or services. Make sure you’re familiar with the industry and, ideally, some of the competition.
- Prepare and practice. Think about all the possible questions the employer might ask. Give some thought to your answers, and then practice giving your replies. One question you can count on: Why are you interested in this position?
- Pack smartly. Bring a pen, a notepad and a couple copies of your résumé. If you have the budget, it doesn’t hurt to invest in a nice leather binder.
- Dress appropriately. If you’re interviewing for an office position, a conservative suit is a safe bet (for men and women). For a position at a more casual work environment, men should go with slacks, a tie and a collared button-down shirt, and women with a dress or blouse with skirt or slacks. If in doubt, over-dress!
- Arrive early. Anything can happen on your way to the interview – traffic, bad weather, you get lost. So plan to get there with plenty of time to spare. If you show up too early, you can always kill a little time at a local café.
- Be pleasant and positive. Personal chemistry really does matter. So look your interviewer in the eye, give a firm handshake and do all those other things your parents told you. And accentuate the positive – never bad-mouth a past or current employer.
- Sell yourself. Give the employer reasons to hire you. How can you make the company or the department better? Why are you an ideal fit for this position? What can you offer that other candidates cannot match?
- Have a two-way conversation. Sure, you have to sell yourself. But don’t spend the entire interview doing it. Be sure to come armed with thoughtful questions about the company and the position. It’s a great way to show you’ve done your research.
- Try to relax. It’s perfectly OK to let your personality come through in an interview. So take a deep breath, relax and be yourself. After all, the employer is trying to find someone who not only has the skills for the job, but also the personality.
- Follow up. Be sure to write down the names and titles of your interviewers as well as notes about what you discussed with each. After the interview, a short thank-you via email makes a good impression; a hand-written note via snail mail is even better.