HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW
Learn as Much as You Can About the Company
You will feel more comfortable during the interview and demonstrate genuine interest. Research the company on the web and look for news about the company if it’s public. You impress your potential employer when you’ve done your homework.
Play by the Company's Rules
Many companies have set procedures for interviews. Follow procedures as suggested or required without question or comment--no matter how ridiculous the rules may appear. You can gain trust and win appreciation by refraining from comment on their format.
Dress for the Interview
This may seem trivial, but you wouldn't want to miss a job offer simply because someone didn't like the way you were dressed. In general, men should wear a conservative suit, white shirt, contrasting tie, shined shoes, matching belt and over-the-calf socks. Women should wear a suit (pant or skirt) or dress with matching jacket, neutral colored sheer hose, simple pumps and minimal make-up. Carry a purse or briefcase, not both.
Allow Sufficient Time for the Interview
More than likely, you will interview with more than one person during the interview cycle. If you are worried about another appointment, you will appear distracted. Don’t rush your interviewers because you have made a previous and conflicting appointment.
If possible, arrive 15 minutes before your actual appointment in case something goes wrong in your journey. A last minute or late arrival may reflect negatively on your candidacy. Call ahead when you know you will be late.
Demonstrate a Positive Outlook
Be prepared to discuss job-related topics, not inconveniences or personal problems. If your interview begins on a negative note, it may be difficult to turn the atmosphere into a positive situation later. Avoid discussion of any potential personal issues until future discussions or allow your recruiter to have the conversation.
If your spouse or a friend takes you to an interview, have them wait for you somewhere else. The presence of a third party can be a negative distraction for both you and the employer.
Job-related questions will be well-received if they are thoughtful and require an explanation such as:
- Interesting questions that pertain to job and advancement opportunity, the company, its people, products and/or services
- Job satisfaction questions that pertain to the importance, responsibility, authority, recognition and career potential of the job
- Past performance questions that concentrate on people who previously held the position, their performance and where they are today
- Sales questions that help you determine the kind of person the employer wants to hire in terms of education, experience, future performance and personality.
- Avoid questions relating to salary, benefits, vacations and retirement in the first meeting