Know How to Interview

As you job search, your networking contacts will help you to find job leads. These job leads will turn into interviews. Are you prepared to turn those interviews into job offers? Be prepared to respond to common questions. Find someone to practice with. That person can give you feedback on your responses. 

Setting up job interviews

Think about what you are going to say before you pick up the phone to call an employer. You want the employer to think of you as a good future employee. You will have about 20 seconds to make the employer want to meet you. Therefore, what you say has to be brief, to the point, and persuasive.

Preparing for an interview

  • Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. You might need to fill out paperwork before the interview.
  • Go by yourself. If a friend or relative drives you, have them wait in the car.
  • Wear an interview outfit that matches what you will wear on the job.
  • Bring your sense of humor and smile.

What to bring to an Interview

During the interview

  • Display confidence. Shake hands firmly, but only if a hand is offered to you first.
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Let the interviewer start the conversation.
  • Listen carefully. Give honest, direct answers.
  • Accept all questions with a smile, even the hard ones.
  • Know how to handle illegal questions.
  • Think about your answers in your head before you talk. If you don't understand a question, ask to hear it again or be explained. You don't have to rush, but you don't want to appear indecisive.

After the interview

  • Immediately after an interview, write down what you thought of it. What was the interviewer interested in? Did you forget to say something about your skills or experience? What did you like about this employer?
  • Send a thank you letter.
  • Follow up if you promised to send something.

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