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Ten Tips to Guarantee a Successful Interview

As an orthodontist and small business owner with two locations in Medford, NY and Port Jefferson, NY, over the years I have interviewed and hired many employees. You might say I am a seasoned veteran in the art of hiring employees. Taking the time to prepare yourself for an interview ahead of time, no matter what the job or position, enables you to put your best foot forward during the entire interview process. There are certain guidelines an employer looks for when interviewing a prospective new employee. Being prepared ahead of time considerably increases your chances of landing a new job.

I have compiled a list of ten tips for interviewing success. Following these suggestions will put you more at ease during the interview, which in turn will impress the interviewer. You only have one chance to make a good impression and first impressions do matter. They are pivotal to a successful outcome.

1. Spend some time writing down your strengths, weaknesses, and skills. Be prepared to answer these questions when asked.

2. Research the business in which you are applying for a position. Check out their website and learn as much as you can about them. Make sure your skills match their competency requirements.

3. "Dress for Success" Decide what you are going to wear and try it on ahead of time. Your clothes should be pressed and fit correctly. You want to look the part. Match the culture of the business and dress conservatively. Remove all piercings and cover visible tattoos. Your hair should be cut or groomed neatly and nails manicured properly. Polish your shoes, wear only light jewelry, and XXXXX makeup. Leave the heavy perfume or cologne at home.

4. Prepare a list of questions ahead of time for the interviewer. Asking intelligent questions from your list and taking notes during an interview shows the interviewer you are seriously interested in the position and took the time to organize and prepare.

5. Map out directions to the interview ahead of time. It is important to know where you are going and whom you are going to meet. Don't be Late. Arrive 15 minutes before the interview and check out your appearance in the restroom after you arrive. Turn off your cell phone before you enter the building. Smile when checking in with the receptionist to make a good first impression.

6. Take two copies of your resume with you and include references. Carry a notepad folder to take notes and bring your appointment book to schedule a second interview if necessary. Be prepared to answer questions regarding past compensation history and supply identification documents such as a social security card and photo ID.

7. Follow the 80⁄20 rule during your interview. Listen 80 percent of the time to what the interviewer is saying and talk 20 percent of the time. Don't monopolize the conversation or talk salary and benefits until the interviewer brings up the subject.

8. After the interview, send a hand written thank you note or email, depending upon their communication preferences, thanking them for the opportunity to meet with them. Quickly mention the specific topics discussed, a short recap of your strengths, and why you would be a good match for the position. Restate your interest in the job.

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