This is the opportunity you have been waiting for!! Interviewing can be somewhat intimidating - following these guidelines can help you alleviate some of your stress.

  • Go to the library or Internet and do research on the company. What do they do? How large are they? What is their growth development? If there is no public information available, you may want to call the receptionist and request a brochure or any other information they may have.
  • Practice answers to commonly asked questions. This will help you to answer questions without stumbling over your words.
  • Write out a list of at least five questions to ask at the end of the interview. A common error is to only prepare 1-2 questions. This becomes a problem if your questions are already answered during the interview. It is much more difficult to think of a well worded question when you are under pressure.
  • Purchase a book called 60 Seconds and You're Hired! by Robin Ryan. You can purchase this at Barnes and Noble for $9.95. This source is an excellent investment.
  • Get a good night's sleep and try to relax.
First Impression
  • Be on time. Do not show up early or late. If you're running late, call. Don't walk in more than ten minutes early. If you're earlier, drive around, sit in your car, or read a book, but don't walk in too early. If you do, they will see you as an inconvenient interruption, not a valuable candidate. If you are really late and you haven't called, you can forget it. Make it a habit to map out exact directions and know where you are going prior to your appointment.
  • Always dress professionally. Your best bet is to wear a suit, typically a navy blue suit with a white shirt/blouse. Men, wear a conservative tie. Women, wear hose. Do not wear a lot of jewelry. In dressing for an interview, it is much better to be conservative and traditional. Let your confidence and skills make you stand out, not your clothing. This is the first thing anyone will notice about you; give them your best. Make sure your nails are clean. Don't wear perfume or cologne.
  • Do a final check of your appearance in a nearby mirror before you walk in. Avoid asking to use their rest room. Make sure that you are not chewing gum or have candy in your mouth.
  • Have a firm handshake. Practice it in advance. Your handshake gives people an indication of your personality. A firm handshake tells people that you're strong, assertive, confident and knowledgeable. A limp handshake implies that you're weak and ineffective. Also, when you walk in, make sure your belongings are in your left hand, so that you can shake someone's hand without shuffling your belongings.
  • Know the name of the person you are interviewing with. Make sure you pronounce it correctly. Don't shorten long names. If you're meeting Diana, don't ask for Diane or Di. Make sure you know how to spell the name. If you're meeting with Ms. Jeri and you ask for Mr. Jerry, you make a poor impression. Also, know their titles and roles. An interview with a Human Resources Representative will be very different than an interview with a department manager.
  • Sit professionally. Don't slouch.
  • If you are asked to fill out an application, fill it out completely, even if you have a resume.
  • Don't move any of the furniture, even if it will make filling out your paperwork easier.
  • Be courteous to the receptionist; he or she may very well be the person you're interviewing with if the company is small. If the company is large, he or she may be the interviewer's relative or best friend. You need to pretend every person you come in contact with will have influence on you being hired.
Body Language
  • Don't slump back in your chair, put your foot on your knee, or dangle one arm over the back of the chair. That makes you look apathetic or arrogant.
  • Don't lean forward and put your elbows on the desk. That makes you look desperate and it invades the personal space of the interviewer.
  • Don't put anything or move anything on the interviewer's desk.
  • Be careful to use hand motions in moderation. If you use your hands excessively, the interviewer will remember your hands, not your skills.
  • Be careful to match your facial expressions with your words. If you say "That's exciting," and look like you just woke up, you'll be sending a mixed message. The negative message will probably be the one remembered.
  • Try to match your voice intonations to the person interviewing you. Low key equals low key.
  • Be respectful. This person has control over you getting that job. Treat him or her with utmost respect. Your respect should not be affected by whether this person is older or younger than you, more or less skilled than you, or the opposite sex than you.
Responding To Questions
  • When answering a question, don't wander off to another subject. Answer the specific question as completely as you can without going into unnecessary detail.
  • If you are a talkative person by nature, be very careful in an interview.
  • Don't interrupt.
  • Don't just start giving out information or telling stories.
  • Don't take control of the conversation. If someone asks for your three strengths, list them and stop; don't add, "And so now you want to know my weaknesses, right?" They may not have asked you that. Never volunteer negative information.

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