Interviews are your chance to sell your skills and abilities.
Review common interview questions. Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror. Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants, while emphasizing your:
- Willingness to work and flexibility
- Leadership skills
- Ability and willingness to learn new things
- Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered
- Creativity in solving problems and working with people
Make a list of questions that you would like to ask during the interview – Pick questions that will demonstrate your interest in the job and the company.
- What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
- How will my responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
- Could you explain your organizational structure?
- What computer equipment and software do you use?
- What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?
Be prepared – Remember to bring important items to the interview:
- Notebook and pens
- Extra copies of your resume and a list of references
- Copies of letter(s) of recommendation, licenses, transcripts, etc.
- Portfolio of work samples
On the day of the interview:
- Plan your schedule so you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early.
- Go by yourself.
- Look professional. Dress in a manner appropriate to the job.
- Leave your MP3 player, coffee, soda, or backpack at home or in your car.
- Turn off your cell phone.
- Bring your sense of humor and SMILE!
During the interview –
- Shake hands firmly, but only if a hand is offered to you first.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Listen carefully. Welcome all questions, even the difficult ones, with a smile.
- Give honest, direct answers.
End the interview –
- Be courteous and allow the interview to end on time.
- Restate any strengths and experiences that you might not have emphasized earlier.
- Mention a particular accomplishment or activity that fits the job.
- If you want the job, say so!
- Find out if there will be additional interviews.
- Ask when the employer plans to make a decision.
- Indicate a time when you may contact the employer to learn of the decision