The most important part of interviewing is to always ask yourself before you go into an interview what you want this person to know about you. And always request a recommendation for someone else that you might contact in the field after the interview.
Call the secretary and get directions to the interview and ask approximately how long it will take to get there. Arrive 15 minutes early, review notes and introduce yourself five minutes early.
Consider the questions at the end of this section and decide how you would respond to each. Do not try to sound perfect because then the interviewer is left wondering what you have not told him or her. Your responses should accurately reflect who you are: your ambition, motivation, dedication and integrity. The more you personalize your answers, the more you will stand out from the other interviewees.
After the interview, make a list of pros and cons about the job. Attach your notes to the information you have on the company. This may help in making a decision later. Always send a thank you letter afterwards thanking the interviewer for his or her time and consideration.
A good interviewee:
Questions you may be asked:
- Is nice to the secretary
- Is honest and straight-forward
- Practices interviewing as much as possible
- Adapts to the person he or she is meeting with
- Is brief and to the point
- Is dressed professionally
- Maintains good posture
- Uses natural gestures
- Maintains eye contact
- Never interrupts
- Expects the unexpected
- Is always on time
- Communicates clearly
- Is up on current events
- Is considerate of the interviewer's time
- Shows that he or she is interested in the job
- Has a positive attitude
- Elaborates on all answers
- Practices a solid handshake
- Has a focus, even if he or she does not know what to do with the future yet
- Appears in demand and selective, but is cautious of sounding over-confident
Questions you may ask:
- What do you want to do?
- Where do you want to be in five years?
- Why should I hire you?
- What can you do for me/or the company?
- What motivates you?
- What has been your biggest challenge?
- What has been your biggest accomplishment?
- What has been your biggest failure?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- What are you interested in?
- What are you good at?
- Can you work under pressure?
- Ask the interviewer about his or her history with the company
- What they look for in an intern or employee?
- How is the working environment/hours/people?
- What does the interviewer like about his or her job?
- Ask about the opportunities that would be available to you in the future, if you were hired
- Ask advice on the best strategy for new people
Avoid These Five Most Common Interview Mistakes
USA Today recently published an Accountemps study of 150 senior executives. The study lists the most common mistakes employers notice
while interviewing job candidates. But each of these mistakes can be avoided with the proper interview preparation (i.e. don't just wing
1. Little or no knowledge of the company
Research the company before the interview. Know about the company's structure, products, services, and history. Find and read any recent
news articles that will help you become more informed about current happenings in the company and the industry.
2. Unprepared to discuss skills and experience -
Know what your skills and experiences are. Review what you have written on your resume. Practice talking about these skills and experiences,
and be prepared to answer questions about them.
3. Unprepared to discuss career plans and goals
Have an idea about where you want to go. The interviewer wants to make sure that you can make long-range plans. Make sure that your goals relate to the organization and the position for which you are
4. Limited Enthusiasm
Apply for positions in which you are interested. Asking the employer questions is one of the best ways to show the employer your enthusiasm
for the company and the position. These questions should show that you are interested enough in the position to have done some advance
research about the company and the job opening.
5. Lack of eye contact
Maintain eye contact with the interviewer (though be careful not to stare).
The Importance of the Follow-up