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.
Before the Interview
- Research the company.
- Become familiar with the organization, the position and the person who may be your boss.
- Know your resume. Be prepared to discuss every aspect of your education and career experience.
- Know the location of the interview. Consider driving to the location of your interview in advance. Having to rush the day of the interview can add to your nervousness and show during your interview.
- You are also interviewing the company. Bring questions about the organization, then move to career growth, working conditions, etc. Save benefits and compensation questions for last.
- It's 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.
During the Interview
- 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.
- Listen carefully. 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.
After the Interview
- Don't leave too quickly.
- Don't 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.
- Stay visible. Following the interview, be sure there's a way you can be contacted, even if you are out of town. Make sure your voice mail message sounds professional when you are job hunting.