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Interview Tips

Once you have confirmed an interview with a potential employer, be sure to thoroughly prepare yourself for that interview.  The following guidelines will help you to make a positive impact at your interview.
  • Research the company’s website prior to your interview. This will not only impress the interviewer, but you will benefit by having a brief summary of the company’s history, revenues, and culture.
  • Be on time. Punctuality is key! Arrive at least 15 minutes early. This will demonstrate your regard for the interviewer’s time. Use this time to go over your notes and assess areas you may wish to cover.
  • At the first point of contact with your interviewer, shake their hand firmly. A nice firm handshake shows a high level of confidence and security.
  • A smile on your face at initial contact speaks volumes! Show that you are eager and enthusiastic.
  • Maintaining eye contact is crucial. By looking your interviewer in the eye, you communicate confidence in yourself and your capabilities. Remain attentive and receptive throughout your interview.
  • Do not be dishonest about anything. If you are asked a question and don’t know the answer, tell the interviewer that you don’t know. If you answer as if you do know, it is very likely that you will be asked to elaborate on the answer. 
  • Do not chew gum or suck on hard candy or lozenges.
  • Do not smoke before or during an interview. Even if your interviewer is a smoker and offers you a cigarette, politely decline the offer.
  • Set your phone to silent mode or turn it off. Do not take a call, text, or play with your phone under any circumstances during your interview.
  • If you are made a verbal job offer, do not refuse or accept the offer until you have had time to think about it. Thank the interviewer for the offer, then ask for the offer to be sent to you in writing (be sure to provide your email address) so that you can review it thoroughly. Ask the interviewer when they would like a decision to be made regarding the offer.
What you wear to a job interview definitely influences the decision to hire you. Your first impression will make a lasting impression. Make the best presentation of yourself as possible!

Suggestions for both Men and Women
  • Keep cologne or perfume to a minimum.
  • Be sure that your fingernails are neat and trimmed.
  • Wear clean and polished conservative shoes.
  • Carry a briefcase or portfolio to your interview. 
  • Be sure that your hairstyle is well groomed.
  • Wear a conservative blouse or dress shirt underneath your suit. White is best.
Suggestions for Men
  • Wear a conservative necktie.
  • Shoes should be dark and polished. Don’t wear casual loafers with a suit. Tie shoes or dress loafers are best.
  • Wear dark socks that complement your suit.
  • If you have a beard or mustache, be sure that it is neatly groomed and presentable.
  • Make sure that your hair is short and styled in a professional cut.
  • Keep your jewelry to a minimum. No rings other than a wedding ring or a college ring.
Suggestions for Women
  • Wear a business suit with a jacket whether it is worn with a skirt or pants. Make sure the skirt is an appropriate length. If you are wearing pants, make sure that they are hemmed to a suitable length.
  • Wear moderate heels. Flat shoes do not look professional with a business suit. Heels over three inches are too high. Be sure the heels are not worn down to the taps.
  • Wear hosiery that complements your suit. Nude, sheer black or navy is best. Be sure there are no runs in your hosiery.
  • Do not wear flashy nail polish on an interview. Solid colors are best.
  • Keep your makeup minimal. Neutral tones are best.   
  • Conservative jewelry is appropriate. Stay away from large or cumbersome pieces of jewelry. Keep jewelery to a minimum.
  • Be sure to answer questions and stress how your experience and qualifications mirror the qualifications for the particular position that the company has opened.
  • When asked to tell an interviewer about yourself, be sure to mention your positions in terms of your performance and emphasize your accomplishments.
  • When asked for salary information, tell the interviewer what you are currently earning and let them know that your salary requirement is open and dependent on the whole opportunity.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your reasons for leaving past employers and about your quality of performance in a position.
  • Don’t ever make derogatory remarks about your past or present employers or former employees.
  • As a candidate you should NOT inquire about salary, bonus, vacation, benefits, etc., on your first interview. Be sure that you give the impression that you are more interested in the opportunity than the salary.
  • Be confident, but do not have a cocky attitude for the entire interview process. Sell your strengths, but don’t oversell yourself.
  • Always close your interview by letting the person know you are very interested in the position.
  • Also, ask the person who is interviewing you “what is the next step in the interview process”.
  • If you are told that someone will follow up with you in a specific time period and he or she does not follow up, take the initiative and make the call yourself.
  • Call directly to the person who interviewed you initially.
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