- Do some research on the business before the interview.
- Practice interviewing.
- Go alone. Do not take children or friends.
- Greet the employer with a handshake.
- Make frequent eye contact.
- Smile, be polite, and try to relax.
- Listen carefully to the questions asked. Ask the interviewer to restate a question if you are confused.
- Answer questions as directly as possible.
- Be upbeat and make positive statements.
- If you’ve worked before, talk about what you learned from it.
- Use examples of how your skills and abilities would fit the job.
- Bring a “Fact Sheet” with telephone numbers and addresses of your references and former employers, just in case you are asked to complete an application.
Questions to Expect (What the Employer May Ask You):
- Tell me about yourself.
- What do you know about the type of work we do? (This is your chance to tell what you know from the research you completed ahead of time.)
- What is your weakness? (Always make this a positive answer. For example, “My spelling is not always perfect, so I always use a spell checker.”)
- What are your strengths? (Describe your skills in a way that will show you as a desirable employee for the company.)
- Why did you leave your last job? (Answer with a positive statement. Try not to say: “I was fired,” “quit,” “had no babysitter,” or “couldn’t get along with coworkers or supervisor”. However, you can say: “new job,” “contract ended,” “seasonal,” “career change,” “returned to school,” “to raise a family,” or “relocated.”)
- Why have you been unemployed for such a long time? (Tell the truth.
- Emphasize that you were looking for a good company where you can settle and make a contribution.)
- Why should we hire you? (Make a positive statement, such as “I would like the opportunity to work with you and believe that I can do the work.”
- Do you have references? (It is most important that you contact your references ahead of time and have their name, current address, and telephone numbers.)
- At the end of the formal interview the employer will ask if you have any questions. The following are examples of acceptable questions to ask:
- Who would supervise me?
- When are you going to make a hiring decision?
- What are the opportunities for advancement?
- What kind of training is provided or available?
Thank You Notes
After your interview, be sure to write a thank you note to all interviewers within two or three days. A thank you note gives you one more chance to remind the employer about the special skills that you can bring to the company. It is a good idea to request interviewers' business cards before leaving the interview. This will help when writing your thank you note to correctly spell the interviewer’s name and job title.