Before the interview
- Get a haircut
- Clean and press clothes
- Wash hands and cut nails
- Shower and use deodorant
- Use a minimum of perfume/after shave or do not use any at all
- Shine shoes
- Trim or shave beard/mustache
- Brush teeth
I will wear my:
___________ shirt blouse
___________ shoes/work boots
___________ jewelery (be very conservative)
___________ purse or briefcase (not both)
___________ make-up (be very conservative)
I will take:
A note pad
Extra copies of resume
List of references
Necessary license (i.e. heavy equipment, limousine,
Date book or daily planner
At the interview
- Take only essential items to the interview (i.e.
resume, references, portfolio, licenses, datebook,
etc.) Do not bring anything unrelated into the
- Arrive 15 minutes early so you can relax and review
what you want to say.
- Be pleasant and friendly but businesslike to everyone
- Shake hands firmly. Be yourself. Use natural gestures
- Stress your qualifications without exaggeration.
- Emphasize experience and training related to the job
- If you know about the company's products and
services, you should refer to them as you answer
questions. It is impressive if you have positive
knowledge about the company. If the company is
involved in any kind of problem (i.e. lawsuits, layoffs,
etc.) do not bring it up.
- After being asked a question, it is okay to pause and
think about your answer. Answer questions with
more than a "yes" or "no". On the other hand, do not
ramble. A successful interview occurs if the
interviewer talks fifty percent of the time.
- Speak positively of past employers and avoid
discussing personal, domestic, or financial problems.
- Know your salary range from your research. When
asked "What are your ideas on salary?", answer with
a question of the interviewer. i.e. "What do you pay
people with my skills and experience?"
- Ask probing questions about the company plans,
nature of the job, etc. Questions indicate interest
and motivation. Questions are also helpful in getting
the interviewer to talk.
- Be prepared if the interviewer says, "You're perfect
for this job. When can you start?" Preparing for this
question can prevent a snap decision. Most
employers will allow you time to make this decision.
But -- what if they ask, "Can you start tomorrow?"
- Thank the interviewer even if they indicate that you
are not right for the job. Ask about other companies
that might be hiring. Get a name of someone to see.
- Send a brief thank you note immediately after the
- Call a few days after the interview to see if a hiring
decision has been made.
Questions that you might be asked
Think about how you will answer these questions. Then
practice answering them aloud.
- What do you know about our company? (Use
- What qualifications do you have for this job. (Match
what you know about the job and company to your
- What is your greatest strength? (Relate to job
- What is your greatest weakness? (Turn into a
positive i.e. perfectionist with high expectations.
Admit a past problem and what you learned from it.)
- Tell me about yourself. (Reveal something
semi-personal but still professional.)
- Why did you leave you previous job(s)? (Turn into a
- If you were hired, what ideas/talents could you
contribute to the position or our company?
- What would you do if...? (imagine situations that
test your knowledge of the job.)
- Could you give me an example of how you have
demonstrated __________ skill? (think first, be
specific, speak only long enough to answer the
- Give me an example of how you handled a difficult
situation on a previous job.
- Why are you interested in working for this company?
(relate your skills to what you know about the
- Tell me about your education. (Use examples that
relate to the position.)
- Why have you chosen this particular field?
- Describe your best/worst boss. (Keep it positive,
don't be critical.)
- In a job, what interests you most/least? (Relate to
- How do others describe you? (Keep it positive.)
- What do you consider the single most important idea
you contributed or your most noteworthy
accomplishment in your last job?
- Where do you see yourself in three years?
(demonstrate ambition and flexibility.)
- How does this position fit into your future plans?
(Demonstrate potential and ambition.)
- What could you have done better on your last job?
(Keep it positive.)
- What have you done recently that shows your
initiative and willingness to work?
- How would you describe yourself to others? (Keep it
positive and brief.)
Questions that you should ask
- How do you feel about working in this organization?
- Were there any questions I didn't provide an
- As you think about the position, what aspects of this
job could be performed better?
- What are the key challenges or problems of this
- Where can I go from here, assuming that I
meet/exceed the jobs responsibilities?
- What are the company's short and long term
- When will a decision be made about this position?
- What do you see as my greatest strengths and
weaknesses pertaining to this position?
- What are the opportunities for personal growth?
- What makes your firm different from its competitors?
- What do you see as the company's strengths and
- How would you describe your corporation's
personality and management style?
- What is the overall structure of the department
where this position is located?
- What characteristics does a successful person within
your company possess?