Before your interview, make certain you have:
1. Recent haircut or hairstyle
2. Clean, manicured fingernails
3. Starched shirt or blouse
4. Pressed suit or professional outfit appropriate for the business in question
Questions to think about carefully beforehand:
5. Do you have a clear understanding of the position for which you are applying?
6. What distinguishes you from other candidates for the position?
7. What five qualities make you a good candidate?
8. What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you compensate for your weaknesses?
9. Why do you want to work for the company?
10. Why should the company hire you?
11. What skills or experiences qualify you for the job?
12. What education or training qualifies you for the job?
13. What hobbies or outside interests make you a better candidate?
14. What were your key accomplishments during school and in your past positions?
Things to do shortly before the interview:
15. Conduct a mock interview with a trusted friend or colleague for practice.
16. Prepare a list of names and telephone numbers of at least three individuals who have agreed to be your personal references.
17. Research the company with whom you are interviewing in order to have a general understanding of both the company history and its position in the industry.
18. Spread the word through your network to see if anyone has contacts at the company that could be a helpful resource before and during the interview.
19. Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer.
20. Get detailed directions to the office and make transportation arrangements to arrive at the interview easily and promptly.
21. Research salaries in order to have a clear expectation of how much you may be offered.
22. Prepare a “closing” for the interview that expresses your desire for the job and inquires about the next step in the interview process.
What to bring to the interview:
23. Extra copies of your résumé
24. Business references from former supervisors, colleagues, or clients
25. This can be either a list of names and phone numbers or actual letters of reference
26. Written performance appraisals
27. Memos or letters confirming past achievements
28. Portfolio of nonproprietary samples of your work, such as writing samples, technical drawings, or brochures of products that you’ve sold or developed
29. College transcripts, if you are a recent graduate
30. A list of questions to ask prospective employer
31. Any documents you may need for the interview, such as a passport, Social Security card, or driver’s license
The day of the interview:
32. Arrive at least 15 minutes early. Visit the restroom and check your appearance in the mirror.
33. Check in with the receptionist and let him or her know that you have arrived and have an appointment. (Remember to be very polite; employers will often ask the receptionist for their first impressions of interviewees.)
34. Be friendly and cordial with the interviewer, but listen 80 percent of the time and talk 20 percent unless questioned directly.
35. After the interview, send a handwritten thank-you note to the interviewer that restates your interest and commitment to the position and expresses your gratitude for his or her time and consideration.
36. About a week after the first interview, call the employer to check on the progress of the job search.
Top 7 interview questions with answers
1. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.
2. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.
3. Describe a typical work week for you.
Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to discuss what they do while they are working in detail. Before you answer, consider the position you are applying for and how your current or past positions relate to it. The more you can connect your past experience with the job opening, the more successful you will be at answering the questions.
It should be obvious that it’s not a good idea talk about non-work related activities that you do on company time, but, I’ve had applicants tell me how they are often late because they have to drive a child to school or like to take a long lunch break to work at the gym.
Keep your answers focused on work and show the interviewer that you’re organized (“The first thing I do on Monday morning is check my voicemail and email, then I prioritize my activities for the week.”) and efficient.
4. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like, That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position? In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not, say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range.
5. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to highlight your best points as they relate to the position being discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.
6. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples: Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects, Your professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive attitude
7. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on? Are examples.