Job Interview Tips

Your Stairway to Success

As a former School-to-Work Supervisor, it was easy to tell someone what they needed to do during a job interview but I couldn’t go into the room with them.  Whether a high school student looking for that first job or an experienced professional interviewing for CEO of a corporation, the rules are basically the same.  SinceRitaBay’s theme for June is “To the Manner Born,” the focus this week will be on effective interpersonal communications (manners) in various business solutions–Interviewing, Working a Room, Business Manners, and Meeting & Conference Etiquette.

    Two things that you to manage early: keep your internet presence clean and your profiles on Private (Expect to be Googled) and be prepared for a drug test (They might ask if you re willing.  If you’re not, don’t interview until you’re clean.) 

     Prepare for the job interview by researching the business thoroughly, modify your resume to reflect the job description, arrive on time, and turning off the cell phone.  If you don’t have references listed on your resume (Some experts recommend that they be listed on the resume as “provided on demand.”), have them available at the interview.  Be sure you have obtained permission to use an individual as a reference.  (Some educators cannot give a reference without written permission.  Also, you may not get the reference you were expecting.)

     Dress should be clean and conservative and appropriate for the position for which you are applying.  Bring extra copies of your resume, a notepad and pen, your Social Security card, driver license, and professional business cards in a nice portfolio. 

     Shake hands when you enter the office, if offered; be seated, when offered a seat; keep your hands still and maintain good eye contact.  Have answers ready and practiced about your long- and short-term goals, your strengths and weaknesses, your education and work histories, why do you want THIS job and why should I hire you.  Show your passion for the job and be prepared to show your interest by asking questions about the job. One of those questions is “When may I expect to hear from you?”  Be sure to get the names of the interviewers and use their names throughout the interview.  Make sure you have their names or cards.  Shake hands and thank them for the interview.

     After the interview, write a Thank You note.  While letterhead stationery is nice, if you can’t afford it, use a computer-generated personal letter on high-end stationery with matching envelope for high-end jobs.  Check out yesterday’s post for the format.  The letter should be expanded to include comments about thanking the interviewer for the opportunity to interview and confirming your interest in the job.  Entry-level non-professional workers can get by with a polite, handwritten note.

     Interview Don’ts.  Don’t be late. Don’t criticize current or previous employers make jokes, chew gum, smoke, flirt, or wear cologne.  Don’t babble or tell the interviewer(s) more than they need to know about your personal life.  Don’t use slang or profanity.  Don’t ask questions about salary and benefits unless a job offer is made.

     Interview Enders:  Poor personal appearance, Over-emphasis on money, Late to interview, Indefinite or evasive answers to questions, Criticism of past employer, Unwillingness to relocate, Poor diction or grammar, Overbearing, aggressive, conceited Failure to participate in activities, Immature, discourteous, or prejudiced, or a Sloppy application form.

Tomorrow, Working a Room. Rita Bay

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