An interview is not something you should dread and lose sleep over. Look at it as a positive, mutual exchange of information. The more interviews you attend, the more comfortable you become. Try to prepare and practice for each interview with enthusiasm and confidence.
Cover letters, resumes and telephone calls have their purpose in the employment process, but there is nothing like an interview to give an employer a chance to meet you and discover more about your interests and goals.
Interviewing also provides you with an opportunity to learn about the company and the job, which is important in your decision process if you are offered a position.
Select a topic below for suggestions on how to approach the interview process:
Research the company
Become familiar with the organization, the position and the person who may be your boss.
Know the location of the interview
Consider driving to the location of your interview in advance, because rushing around the day of the interview can add to your nervousness and show during your interview.
Know your resume
Be prepared to discuss every aspect of your education and career experience.
Bring your questions
You are also interviewing the company. Start with questions about the organization and move to career growth, working conditions, etc. Save benefits and compensation questions for last.
Avoid fear by visualizing the interview
It is just an interview, so imagine the experience in advance. Try to visualize various aspects such as your clothing, items to bring, physical presentation, eye contact, body language, etc.
Talk about your previous contributions
Prospective employers are interested in knowing how you made a difference in your previous job. Be prepared to explain how your unique skill set will be an asset to the company.
Pause briefly after each question before you respond to be sure the interviewer has finished speaking. Answer questions directly and concisely. If you do not understand, ask for clarification.
Write down important information
Obtain the names and titles of the people with whom you interview. Be sure the spelling is correct, as you will need the information later (see "After the Interview," below).
Do not leave too quickly
After the interview, do not leave abruptly. Leave a good final impression by communicating to the interviewer that you really want the job and you are ready to move to the next step in the employment process. If that does not feel right, simply inquire about the next steps in the process.
Do not forget the follow-up
Send a letter or note thanking the interviewer for the opportunity to discuss your skills and qualifications. You might use the opportunity to recap a few points you discussed.
Do not become invisible
Following the interview, be sure there is a way in which you can be contacted, even if you are out of town. Make sure that you have a professional sounding voicemail when you are job hunting.