How To Pass an Interview – Quick Tips for a Successful Interview
Tips for a Successful Interview – Quick Overview
An interview is an opportunity for you to showcase your skills and experience to a potential employer, and to learn more about the company and the job. Here are some tips to help you prepare for and succeed in an interview:
Research the company and the position. Find out as much as you can about the company and the job duties, and be prepared to discuss how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the position.
Practice common interview questions. There are many common interview questions that you can expect to be asked, such as “Tell me about yourself,” “Why do you want to work for our company?” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Practice answering these questions out loud to become more comfortable and confident in your responses.
Dress appropriately. It’s important to dress professionally for the interview, even if the company has a casual dress code. If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Arrive on time. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early to give yourself time to find the location and get settled.
Be polite and professional. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and make eye contact during the interview. Show enthusiasm for the position and the company, and be respectful and courteous throughout the interview.
Listen and ask questions. Pay attention to what the interviewer is saying and ask questions to show that you’re interested in the position and the company.
Be prepared to talk about your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and be prepared to discuss how you are working to improve on any weaknesses.
Follow up after the interview. Send a thank-you note or email to the interviewer to express your appreciation for the opportunity and to reiterate your interest in the position.
The impression you make on the interviewer often can outweigh your actual credentials. Your poise, attitude, basic social skills, and ability to communicate are evaluated along with your experience and education.
You and the interviewer must engage in a conversation – a mutual exchange of information and ideas. Only through such a dialogue can you both determine if you, the organization, and the job are well matched. Preparation is the key.
1. You Must Be on time.
This often means 10-15 minutes early. Interviewers often are ready before the appointment.
Know the interviewer’s name, spelling, and pronunciation.
Use it during the interview. If you don’t know the name, call beforehand and ask the secretary. Also, note the secretary’s name in case you have to call back. Secretaries can influence the hiring decision!
2. Have some questions of your own prepared in advance.
There is nothing wrong with having a short list of questions and thoughts- it shows you have done your research and want to know more about the organization and the position.
3. Bring several copies of your resume.
Also, bring a copy of your transcript. Carry your papers in an organized manner.
4. Have a reliable pen and a small notepad with you.
But do not take notes during the interview. However, immediately afterward, write down as much as you can remember, including your impression of how well you did.
5. Greet the interviewer with a handshake and a smile.
Remember to maintain eye contact (which does not mean a stare-down).
6. Expect to spend some time developing rapport.
Don’t jump right in and get down to business. Follow the interviewer’s lead.
7. Don’t be embarrassed if you are nervous.
As you gain experience you’ll become more at ease with the interviewing process.
8. You Must Tell the truth.
Lies and exaggeration will come back to haunt you.
9. You Must Listen carefully to the interviewer.
Be sure you understand the question; if not, ask for clarification, or restate it in your own words. Answer completely and concisely. Stick to the subject at hand.
10. Never slight a teacher, friend, employer, or university.
Loyalty ranks high on the employer’s list.
11. Always Watch your grammar.
Employers are interested in candidates who can express themselves properly. Even if you have to go slowly and correct yourself, accuracy is preferred over ungrammatical fluency.
12. Be prepared for personal questions.
Some interviewers may not know what they can and cannot ask legally. Anticipate how you will handle such questions without losing your composure.
13. Wait for the interviewer to mention salary and benefits.
To research pay scales, refer to salary surveys and information on the Career Services website on in the career library.
14. Don’t expect a job offer at the first interview.
Often you will be invited to a second or even third interview before an offer is made several weeks later.
15. Close on a positive, enthusiastic note.
Ask what the next step will be. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and express your interest in the job. Leave quickly and courteously with a handshake and a smile.
16. You Must be Focused.
On your attributes, your transferable skills, and your willingness to learn; don’t apologize for a lack of experience; describe your strengths in terms of what you can do for the organization.
16. No interview is complete until you follow up with a thank-you note.
Express your appreciation for the interview and, if true, reaffirm your interest. This last step can make a difference. Don’t forget it.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success in an interview and stand out as a strong candidate for the job.