Interviews

Before the Interview

  • Research the potential employer.
  • Find out as much about the employer as possible. You will be asked what you know about the company/employer.
  • Know why you want to work for the company/employer.
  • Know the mission and vision of the company/employer.
  • Does the mission of the company fit your belief system? 
  • Make sure you know exactly where you are going for the interview. (Location, what office and the name of the individual).
  • Be prepared to talk about examples of past successes that will prove you can do the job. 
  • Always prepared to talk about examples of past successes that will prove you can do the job. 
  • Make sure you can talk about everything on the resume.

Interview Attire

Professional dress is always the best option for the first interview. Until you know the climate/environment and dress code of the employer, always wear professional attire.

Ladies:

  • *Suit with jacket – dress slacks or skirt
  • Closed toe shoes – professional pumps
  • Minimal jewelry
  • Clear nail polish

Gentlemen:

  • *Suit with jacket and slacks that match
  • Dress shirt and tie
  • Dress shoes
  • Shoes should match 

Etiquette

  • Do not wear perfume or cologne.
  • Do not overdo your makeup.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • Do not wear large rings or earrings,
  • If you have tattoos, cover them up.
  • Hair – clean, pulled back or at least away from face. 
  • Natural hair color.
  • Turn off your cellphone.
  • Speak to everyone and be polite. Remember, you are a guest.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Smile.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Shake hands – always be ready to initiate the handshake or receive it.

Interviews may take place during a meal. Easy dining tips to remember:

  • Follow the lead of the host.
  • If you are in a formal setting and there are multiple pieces of silverware at each place setting, always start from the outside and work your way in toward the plate. When in doubt, discreetly watch your host.
  • When finished eating, place the fork and knife on the plate and the napkin on the right side of the plate.

Day of the Interview

  • You will be nervous.
  • Arrive early – if you are one to get extremely nervous, arrive about 30 minutes early and sit in your car for 15 minutes to clear your head and get yourself calmed down/more relaxed.
  • Go to the office or location of the interview at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to your interview.
  • Make certain that you are cordial to everyone you meet especially the receptionist or administrative assistant. 
  • The first few minutes of an interview are usually spent on small talk and could be the most important few minutes of the interview. Use this time to find a connection with the interviewer. However, you must remain professional at all times
  • When it is time for the interview and you greet the individual that will interview you:
    • Stand up
    • Make eye contact
    • Smile
    • Introduce yourself
    • Shake hands – always be ready to initiate the handshake or receive it.

During the Interview

  • Be prepared to answer both behavioral and traditional questions.
  • Use as many examples as possible to demonstrate that you can do the job.
  • Eye contact is extremely important.
  • Don't act like a know it all. Quiet confidence goes a long way.
  • Employers are looking for individuals who fit their organization in regards to the climate and culture of the environment and they are also looking for the following:
    • Critical thinking
    • Being a self-starter
    • Willingness to learn
    • Willingness to travel
    • Self-confidence
    • Teamwork
    • Professionalism

Ask Questions at the End

Have at least three questions that you can ask at the end of the interview that you could not find the answers to on the website or may have been previously discussed during the interview.

Interview Follow Up

  • Make sure you get the name and title of the individual that interviewed you.  Pick up or ask for a business card.
  • Within 24 hours of the interview, you should send a thank you note to the individual.
  • In the thank you note, reference something that you discussed during the interview to make certain the individual remembers you.
  • Handwritten notes are preferred and make a much better impression than email.