You have your resume and cover letter all set to go and now you’ve landed a couple of interview opportunities. Be sure to take the time to prepare for your interview -- research the company, practice and be sure you have an appropriate outfit to wear.
Tips for a successful interview:
Before the interview
Research: Learn about the company you have applied to and be informed when you walk in for your interview. Prepare questions to ask the employer.
Practice: Research popular interview questions and write down answers to them. Use your friends, family, career coach and other resources to help you with mock interviews.
A few common questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What did you like most about your last job?
- Why should we hire you?
- How do you measure success?
- Tell me about a problem you had to solve at a previous job and how you were able to solve it.
- What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
- Tell me about a time you worked as part of a team.
- What are your short-term goals?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Dress appropriately: Do your homework on what to wear to an interview. Bottom line is you want to look professional and reliable.
Arrive on time: Which really means arrive at least 15 minutes early. There is no excuse for being late, none! Leave extra early and make sure you know where you are going and the parking situation beforehand. You do not need added stress!
Greeting: Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer.
Eye contact: Make sure to continue to make good eye contact throughout the interview.
Listen: Listen carefully as the questions are being asked and be sure to answer honestly and thoroughly -- but do not babble.
- Attitude: Keep a positive attitude and offer why you would be a good fit for this company. Avoid talking negatively about previous employment situations.
After the interview
Follow up: Be sure to send a thank you letter or email promptly after the interview. A sincere, handwritten note is the best option.