Top 5 Interview Tips

Douglas Evans, Employment Specialist

1.       Be Prepared (Part 1: Anticipating Questions)

You can prepare for an interview by trying to anticipate the questions you’ll get and think through your answers ahead of time.  Look up a list of common interview questions and practice for a few you expect you’ll get like “tell me about yourself.”

All interviews also include Behavioral Interview Questions.  Behavioral Questions are intended to ascertain how you respond or react (behave) in certain situations.  Use the STAR technique to answer these questions.      

Be Prepared (Part 2: Know the Organization)

Preparation being on the list twice should be a more-than-subtle hint of how important it is.  Not only do you want to prepare by reviewing your own experiences and qualifications; but, you’ll also want to research and be knowledgeable about the organization.  Know their mission, values, products and accomplishments, and work your knowledge into your answers if possible.  Prepare your questions based on this knowledge. 

 3.       Remove All Unnecessary Stress

Being interviewed is stressful enough without complicating things by running late, getting lost, or being unprepared.  Remove all possible stress-contributing factors under your control. 

4.       Form a Connection with Your Interviewer

Interviews can feel like an invasive, one-way dissection… of you!  In actuality an interview is a two-way interaction, with give and take between two people.  It’s your job to hold up your end of this two-way communication by being polite, making them feel comfortable, paying attention to their body language, and listening closely. 

5.       Nail the (Big) Little Things

And of course…don’t forget all the little things (that can become big if you get them wrong): dress appropriately and professionally, don’t chew gum but have fresh breath, make good eye contact, give a firm handshake, engage in small talk when you meet, display attentive posture, and bring extra copies of your resume.

Lastly, remember that there is no such thing as a perfect interview.  There will always be something you feel that you could have done better.  Prepare as much as you can before the interview, but most importantly during the interview convey an attitude that is friendly, likeable, courteous, and attentive.

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