Interview Tips for the Job Seeker
With the current state of unemployment in the United States, and the continued influx
of new graduates into the workforce, you need an edge that will make you stand out to any
potential employer. Obviously, having impressive credentials such as a college (or
advanced) degree and resume is the first step, but what happens when there are several
candidates that are all very similar in educational and experience background?
The first impression you get to make is with your resume, but what may put you over the
top is the way in which you interview. I asked around, collecting some insight from people
who have been on both sides of the interview process, and received the following collection
of tips (in no particular order of importance):
• Do your research on the company so you can go in there not only with
knowledge of its history, but to show that you are serious about becoming part of the
future as well.
• Make sure your appearance matches the job. If it is a professional
atmosphere, go in clean shaven (or very neatly groomed), without earrings (for men) or
excessive jewelry, in a nicely pressed suit with matching tie and shoes for men or an
equally pressed shirt suit for women.
• Have multiple copies of your resume, letters of recommendation, or
other supporting documents in a briefcase or folder to show preparedness in case there is
more than one interviewer.
• Get plenty of rest and eat before going into the interview so you
can be at your peak performance.
• Shake all participants' hands and maintain eye contact during the
entire process to show your self-confidence.
• Never talk poorly about previous employers. If you bad-mouth one,
the potential employer will most likely see you as a complainer.
• Arrive early to demonstrate your dependability and interest in the position.
• Do not go in smelling of smoke, or as if you bathed in cologne /
perfume and use the restroom beforehand.
• Speak clearly and properly with an even tone without the use of "big
words" which you may not know the true use of. Nothing makes you sound less intelligent
than misusing words, poor grammar, or the use of slang in an interview.
• Sit up straight with your feet planted firmly on the floor to show
your interest, but not so stiff that you look nervous.
• Speaking of appearing nervous, keep from fidgeting ie: twirling
pens, rolling up papers, playing with your clothes or hair, tapping feet.
• Do not lie or exaggerate anything; honesty is always the best policy
even if it means admitting a shortcoming. Chances are you will be found out to be a fraud,
and word can get around: you do not know who they may know at other companies.