So, you've posted your resume on all of the job boards
noted on this website, and you get contacted by an employer, who invites you to his firm for an interview. Hooray ! This is certainly
half the battle in your employment quest, and now it is time to impress this manager, so that you get offered a position in his firm. It is
time to prepare for this job interview, and follow some of the important steps outlined below.
The following steps should be taken in preparation for an interview, and during the interview itself:
- Research the company thoroughly on the Internet, so you are familiar with the company as a whole, and cognizant of the products
and services that the company offers. Make mention of this acquired knowledge during the interview, to demonstrate your interest
- Based on general questions that you might have, and information that you have researched about the company, prepare 4 or 5
questions that you can ask the interviewer. Whenever there is a lull in the conversation, or if the interviewer asks if you have
any questions, that would be an appropriate time to ask one of them. The ability to ask intelligent, well-thought-out questions
will generally impress the interviewer. Failure to engage in conversation, or state that "I don't have any questions" when asked,
indicates disinterest and possible lack of intelligence.
- Dress for success at the interview. Men should wear a dark blue or grey suit, with yellow or red tie. Women should wear a
conservative, dark pants suit as well.
- Show up at the interview at least 5-10 minutes early. Punctuality is a valued commodity.
- Provide the interviewer with a firm handshake, when you initially meet him. A strong handshake provides a positive image.
- When you interview, make sure that make direct eye contact at all times with the interviewer. Wandering eyes and lack of
direct eye contact allude to uncertainty and possible deviation from the truth, when speaking.
- Bring a professional-looking notepad to the interview, and before the interview starts, ask the interviewer if it is OK for you
to take notes. This will show the interviewer that you are genuinely serious about the position. Take notes during the interview
and write down any questions that may come up during this period (you can ask them when there is a lull in the conversation).
- Make sure you sit up very erectly in the interviewee chair. Refrain from slumping in the chair at all times.
- Be prepared to talk about intimate details associated with your resume. Whenever possible, try and equate your prior education
or work experience directly to the job specifications that you are interviewing for.
- Discuss the interviewer's role in the company, and show interest in his job functions. Whenever possible, express how your skill
set can help the interviewer in his position.
- Do not discuss salary and benefits, unless the subject is broached by the interviewer. It is usually considered taboo to do so.
It is appropriate to ask such questions on a second interview, however.
- Provide the interviewer with a firm handshake at the conclusion of the interview. If you feel that you are interested in the
position, tell the interviewer that you feel that the position is a great match for your qualifications, and that you look forward to
hearing from him. It is appropriate to ask the interviewer when he feels that the company will make a final decision on hiring for
- If the interviewer asks if you are interviewing elsewhere, always mention that you are. Show him that you are extremely confident,
and provide an illusion that you are a well sought-after commodity. This may increase your bargaining power.
- If the interviewer asks you for the salary you are looking for, it is best to say that you are open to all offers, and wish to
obtain a salary that is commensurate with your level of experience in the company. If you are pressed further on a specific amount,
make sure that you ask for an amount that you would feel comfortable earning. Do not make the mistake of asking for too much or
- If you are interested in the position, it is appropriate to send a short note to the interviewer, thanking him for his time and
expressing your interest in the position. It is best to send this note via U.S. mail, as opposed to via Email, the day after the
interview takes place.
Although many of these items may border on the obvious, it is very important to avoid doing the following, when engaged in an interview:
- Never complain about the directions given or the parking situation at the site of the interview.
- Never, ever bad-mouth a previous boss or former employer during an interview.
- As stated above, never ask about salary or benefits during a first interview, unless the subject is broached by the interviewer.
- Never beg for a job. Be enthusiastic about the position, but never grovel.
- Never answer a question, before you understand it. Attempting to answer a question, when you do not understand the scope of it,
will not help your case at all.
- Never "zone out" during an interview. Stay focused at all times.
- Never slouch in your chair, or look casual during your interview. Always sit up erect in your chair.
- Never curse during the interview.
- Never suggest to your interviewer that the job market is bleak, and that no one is calling you back. If anything, provide the
illusion that you are well sought after, and add a tiny bit of arrogance to your interview responses.
- Never do anything that is disgusting - picking your nose, picking your ears, picking your teeth, etc. I think you get the idea here.
If you are looking for additional reading on the subject of interviewing, you may want to browse through our
Interview Books Store.
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