- Learn as much as you can about the company beforehand—know its products and services, its profit margin, its culture, its dress code, etc. Good sources of information are the company’s website and the company’s pages on LinkedIn and Facebook. Career Central’s online job board for students and alumni provides current and relevant information about participating companies.)
- Do practice interviews.
- Think about how your experience in work, classes, and activities can relate to the job you’re seeking.
- Allow plenty of time to get to the interview and, if possible, visit the site in advance and time how long it takes to get there.
- Plan your interview attire in advance and make sure your clothing is pressed, your shoes are shined, and your hair and nails are well groomed.
- Bring extra copies of your resume and a list of references. (Develop an Interview Portfolio)
- Speak slowly and clearly and don’t be afraid to pause for a moment to collect your thoughts.
- Be honest. Don’t try to cover up mistakes. Instead, focus on how you learned from them.
- Be assertive. Remember that the interview is a way for you to learn if the job is right for you.
- Ask the interviewer for a business card and send a thank-you note as soon as possible.
Planning Job Choices: 2002, National Association of Colleges and Employers
National Association of Colleges and Employers
When you arrive for the interview, be sure to make a good impression on the receptionist by being friendly and polite. Everyone (including the custodian) at the setting is potentially part of the interview team. During the interview use your resume and interview portfolio as a springboard to address the important qualities that employers typically seek in prospective candidates. Watch for clues that you are on track and that you have the interviewer with you. If the interviewer appears puzzled, stop and restate your reply. If the person loses interest, checks his/her watch often, or shuffles papers, “ask if you covered the point adequately.” Do not prolong the interview or you will run the risk of overselling yourself. While the initiative of the interview lies with the recruiter, it is not a one-sided affair. It is a mutual exchange where you sell yourself and put your best foot forward.
While as Christians we believe the Lord’s will shall prevail, you should not do less than your best to obtain the position. Do not interview just for the sake of interviewing; it is not being honest with the recruiter, and you are wasting his time. When you have secured and accepted a position, it is not ethical to continue to post your resume and continue to entertain other interviews. If your resume is posted in Career Central, for example, you should immediately change your privacy setting to be excluded from Resume Books. In addition, you should inform the Career Services office if you accepted a position and inform other recruiters who you have been in close contact with to let them know as well of your final decision.
10 Tips for a Positive Interview
- Use the interviewer’s name–title and last name–from time to time as you speak. Don’t use the interviewer’s first name unless you have been requested to do so.
- Phrase your questions so that you sound sure of yourself. “What would be my duties?“ sounds more assertive than “What are the duties of the job?“
- Use good grammar and good diction. Say “yes,” not “yeah.”
- Listen to how quickly you speak, and look for moderation. Don’t talk too fast. Don’t pepper the hiring manager with too many facts at once.
- Don’t fill pauses with “um,” “uh,” or “ah.” Don’t punctuate sentences with “you know,” “like,” “see,” or “okay.”
- Punctuate your speech just as you would a sentence. Stress the words that are most important. Don’t arbitrarily emphasize every third word; don’t keep your voice a monotone.
- Use active verbs. (I organized…. managed…. trained…. accomplished…)
- Don’t use the word “think,” “guess,” or “feel,” which sound indecisive; sound positive. Also, avoid “pretty good” or “fairly well.” Talk about your skills with positive words.
- Watch the tone of your voice. While it might be commonplace in casual conversation to end a sentence with a higher tone of voice so that sentences sound like questions, this habit will kill your credibility with hiring managers.
- Offer examples of your accomplishments. Use illustrations, descriptions, statistics, and testimonials to support your claims. (i.e., your personal portfolio)
Excerpt from Planning Job Choices: 1995, College Placement Council