1) Do some basic research on the company or organization you are interviewing with. You should have some idea of the organization’s history, background, major successes, and products. All of this can be obtained by visiting their website, searching on Glassdoor, and doing a Google search. Bring a notepad to take notes.
2) Be prepared to explain how your past job experience, education, or training has prepared you to take on the new job duties. All job interviewers want to know how you are qualified for their position. DON’T waste the interviewers’ time! Make your answers vivid, memorable, and easy to follow. Use specific examples and results.
3) Dress appropriately for the job you’re interviewing for. Show the interviewer that you respect the interview process and the job you applied for. Express your individualism in a positive manner, through your life’s work.
4) Prepare at least 2 or 3 questions of your own, beforehand, that relate specifically to the job or company’s services. Your interview is your chance to learn more about the job specifics and about the company. Make sure the questions are relevant to the organization and position. DO NOT ask questions about pay or benefits during the initial interview! This is something to negotiate AFTER you have been offered a position, not before.
5) Have an agenda in mind of how the interview should go, as this will help you move from one part of the interview to the next and should give you some confidence. Try to answer questions briefly, as well as thoroughly, but monitor yourself and don’t dwell on anything too long, as this becomes tedious for the interviewer.
6) Be aware of your body language and interview behavior. It’s okay to be a little nervous, but don’t appear stiff. Give a firm, but normal handshake, sit-up, and appear interested and energetic. Maintain appropriate eye contact with the interviewer(s) to convey confidence. Be polite and avoid slang and profanities. You want to appear polished and professional. Lastly, stand to shake hands with anyone that you meet.
7) Do your best to put the interviewer at ease. Interviewing can be a lengthy, tedious process for the person(s) doing the interviewing. If you try and make the interview as smooth and professional as possible for everyone, you will help make their job easier and improve your chances of selection. Be considerate of the interviewer. Arrive on time and don’t take up more time than is allotted and necessary.
8) Be prepared to verbally list your strengths, along with some examples, especially as they relate to the desired job. Do not dwell on weaknesses, but instead, turn your weakness into a strength. Always be realistic with your answers. If you have never experienced a specific question (i.e., explain a time when…), tell your interviewer how you would handle that situation.
9) Be ready for surprises, such as hypothetical questions relating to your character (i.e. “what would you do if you caught an employee stealing from the company”). If you get asked a question you don’t know, be honest and don’t try to wiggle out of it, it will only make matters worse.
10) The final stage of the job interview is critical. You need to leave the interviewer with the impression that you are the right candidate for the job. Make sure to address any concerns the interviewer may have. Additionally, express your enthusiasm for the position and ask what the next step will be. Ask for a business card from everyone you interview with if you are not given one. This way you can send a thank you note to everyone you interviewed with. Be sure to send a thank you within 24 hours of the interview.