By. Carline C. Dumerlin-Folkes
A wise person once said that looking for a job is the hardest job you will ever have, and boy were they right! However, once you get a call for an interview it, you need to put your best foot forward in hopes of landing an opportunity. Interviews often are nerve-racking because the interviewee wants to be accepted and get the daggone job.
One way to combat this nervousness is to know that you were asked to come in to interview for a reason. Employers usually don't interview people they are not interested in. There was something about your resume/cover letter that was impressive and therefore you were called in. The purpose of the interview is for the employer to see if the person "on paper" is the same person or an even better version, in person. Companies and organizations hire people that they like and can see themselves working alongside.
Although you are probably well versed in interview etiquette; here are just some friendly reminders:
- Always smile and look genuinely interested, maintain regular eye contact and exude confidence
- Give yourself an advantage by researching and gathering information about the company/organization. It shows that you are knowledgeable and that your are
- Give a firm handshake
- Be prepared by bringing a pen and extra copies of your resume
- Be 15 minutes early (leave room to get lost, be stuck in traffic etc),
- Shut off your cell phone
- Dress comfortable, but professional (no tugging)
- Have a personality!
- Wear dark color suits or industry appropriate attire
- Have positive body language, sit up, and don’t fidget
- Speak clearly and articulate
- Wear comfy, but appropriate shoes
- Cover or remove tattoos and body piercings
- Send a thank you note; email or a handwritten note will do
- Wear anything too tight, too short, or shows breast or butt cleavage
- Wear unnatural hairs colors (green, purple, kool-aid red)
- Wear Mr. T jewelry
- Wear too much perfume.
- Discuss compensation/benefits
- Don't bad mouth your last job, or supervisor no matter what!
As someone who has been on least a million interviews I found that the most common questions that one should master are:
- Tell me about yourself: You should have at least a 60 second commercial about yourself. A good commercial is short and sweet and grabs the attention of the audience and so should you.
- What are you strength and weaknesses and how do they relate to this position?
- Do you prefer to work in a group or individually?
- How do you manage/prioritize projects?
- What tools do you use to keep organize?
- What are your career goals or what is your greatest accomplishment to date?
- What qualities could you bring to this position?
- Do you have any questions? - Always have a question
If you don't get a job right away don't get discouraged. Continue to prep yourself, apply to jobs and keep a positive attitude!