Tips for a Great Interview

The primary goal when interviewing is to get an offer. There are specific steps you can take to get prepared, for example, taking the time to learn about your potential employer, dressing professionally, showing up on time, and showing your personality. People hire people. Sell yourself as well as your skills.

What should I wear to an interview?

  • Dress professionally.
  • Keep your attire simple, clean, and crisp looking.
  • A suite is not always required, substitute accordingly with a nice pair of slacks and shirt/top and jacket.
  • Avoid wearing a short skirt that is too far above your knees.
  • Avoid wearing perfume or cologne.
  • Avoid wearing too much jewelry or make up.
  • If you have any piercings or visible tattoos, COVER THEM UP.

What can I do to give myself an edge in the interview?

  • Learn something about where you are interviewing and what they are looking for.
  • Visit their website and LinkedIn.
  • Show up fifteen minutes early.
  • Always be polite to the receptionist, gate keepers sometimes influence the decision maker.  Become their friend.
  • Never talk on your cell phone while in the lobby.
  • Never accept a call while in your interview!
  • Turn off your cell phone!
  • Come prepared with a list of questions.
  • Connect with the interviewer, ask probing questions to learn a little bit about them, why they chose to work there, what they like about their job, have them describe their corporate culture.
  • Pay attention to your body language. 
  • Do not cross your arms in front of you, sit up straight and lean in toward the interviewer.
  • Smile and project warmth and enthusiasm.
  • Ask if they see you as a fit.
  • Do not leave without asking for the job, let them know how you see yourself fitting in.

What are some common mistakes people make in an interview that you should avoid?

  • Complaining about your previous job or supervisor
  • Speaking softly, let them see your personality.
  • Placing too much attention your weaknesses, focus more on your strengths.
  • Giving the interviewer too much personal information.
  • Avoid asking when you can start taking time off.  It’s okay to ask about benefits but do not ask specifically about sick, vacation, and holidays.
  • Do not ask what time your workday will end.  A better way to approach this subject is by asking what are their hours of operations?

Basics to remember:

  • The primary goal when interviewing is to get an offer.
  • You cannot turn down an offer if you do not get an offer.
  • People hire people, show off your personality.
  • Sell yourself as well as your skills.
  • Let them know that you are eager to learn new things.