You must prepare for an interview!
The job interview is where you can assess a company and it is where you have
to sell yourself and your skills. This requires the use of an effective job
Our interview guide, The Master Interviewer, takes you from job
interview preparation to the follow-up. The guide has been written by human
resource professionals. Below are some quick job interview tips that show you
how to interview in an astute and effective manner.
Your goal in an Interview
The interview is your chance to communicate your ability and skills directly
to the potential employer. An interview is an opportunity for both parties to
get to know each other and to determine if there is potential for a match.
Because interviewing is a skill, anyone can learn to interview effectively. Most
people find interviewing to be a terrifying prospect. Remember that the key to a
successful interview is preparation and careful listening.
Before the Interview
The Master Interviewer gives details about polish and preparation. These are
Make sure your hair is neat - get a haircut if possible. Dress in
conservative business attire, composed of a dark suit, polished shoes, white
shirt or blouse, and, for men, a conservative tie. All clothes should be neat
clean and pressed. Avoid excessive jewelry, makeup, cologne or perfume.
Learn pertinent facts about the company such as annual sales revenue,
principal lines of business and locations. Know yourself and know your resume
and be able to easily provide examples of your selling points, skills, values,
During the Interview
During the interview, sit up straight in the chair or lean forward slightly
and DO NOT slouch! Establish yourself as a self confident and assertive person
without being confrontational, cocky or aggressive. Remember to be yourself but
to also present a professional, polished version of yourself.
Answer job interview questions directly. Be confident without being arrogant.
At the same time, admit to your weaknesses if they are brought up, but do not
bring them up. Instead, concentrate on your strengths. Demonstrate energy,
determination, enthusiasm, motivation and passion for your work.
Prove that you are genuinely interested in the company by showing that you
have researched the organization. You should always ask the interviewer a few
Answering Interview Questions
Answer tough interview questions honestly and completely - but be wary. Do
not dwell on negatives and you should avoid mentioning them. Sell yourself on
your true capabilities and qualifications without exaggerating your abilities.
If you are asked a technical question and you do not know the answer, do not
bluff. If your bluff fails, your candidacy will be seriously threatened.
Instead, say "I do not know the answer, but if I were to venture an educated
guess I would say...". Never speak negatively about another person or company.
The Master Interviewer contains a complete list of questions to prepare for
including some of the most difficult questions you can be asked and the
The questions that you ask are just as critical as the responses that you
give. Asking thoughtful questions demonstrates your intelligence, common sense
and your interest in the position to the employer. By posing good questions to
an interviewer, you will gain additional useful information about the
Concentrate on the broad view of the company and on specific details about
the position at hand. Focus on four areas during your job interview: the
company, the job opportunity, the interviewer and the closing. The Master
Interviewer gives specific and insightful questions you can ask in each of these
After the Interview
Keep them interested. After the interview, you should send a short thank you
letter to refresh the employer's memory of your candidacy and to reaffirm your
interest in the position.
Allow the employer five to ten days to contact you after receiving your
letter. If you still have not heard from an employer, you should follow up with
a phone call.
The Employer's Point of View
Practice interviewing. Have a friend ask you questions that you may encounter
during an interview. If you have a VCR, videotape your mock interview and try
and identify any of your negative factors, traits, habits, and actions. The
Master Interviewer, contains a full list of these negative factors evaluated by
an interviewer that you should look to avoid.
Important Do's and Don'ts
The Master Interviewer contains a more complete list, but these are
some of the most important ones.
- Arrive 10 minutes early.
- Greet the interviewer with a warm, confident "Hello" and a firm handshake.
- Be well rested.
- Dress and groom yourself with perfection (Appropriate business attire,
- Maintain good posture.
- Emphasize positive things about yourself.
- Bring a friend or relative with you.
- Arrive late.
- Ask about the salary unless the interviewer brings it up.
- Speak negatively about a former employer or past co-workers.
- Smoke, even if the interviewer does and offers you a cigarette. Do not chew
- Answer with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible. Describe
those things about yourself that relate to the situation.
The Master Interviewer will ask you, How much stress can you manage? And then
will put it all in perspective. The high point of any job search campaign is
landing the job interview. However, the job interview can also be a very
stressful situation. Will you say the right thing? Will you look appropriate?
Will the interviewer like you and be impressed with your qualifications? Will
you trip over your own two feet walking in the door?
Effective interviewing is a skill, not an art. YOU can gain that
skill. It takes research, alertness and practice to be effective in an
interview. The job interview is too important to do a mediocre job. Be prepared!
If you would like a complete guide to interviewing, The Master
Interviewer is available for only $9.95 and is 15 pages in length. This
guide will provide all of the tools to prepare you including a complete list of
common interview questions, difficult questions and proper responses, and an all
important look at the employer's point of view. The final section also give a
look at the big picture and has some hints to handle the stress. The rest is up