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Career Center

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW

Preparation

  • Learn about the company and the position you are interviewing for. Most companies have a website that you can research before the interview.
  • Review your qualifications for the job and be ready to support past career accomplishments with specific information targeted toward the companies needs. Have your facts ready!
  • Be ready to answer broad questions, such as “Why should I hire you?”, “Why do you want this job?”, and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
  • Practice an interview with a friend or relative.

Personal Appearance

  • Dress conservatively and professionally.
  • Have a neat, clean, and well-groomed appearance.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • Remove all facial piercings and tongue rings prior to interview.
  • Do not wear heavy cologne or perfume.
  • Try to avoid smoking before hand to avoid heavy cigarette smell.
  • Be businesslike, approachable, and confident in your appearance.

General Pointers for the interview:

  • Try to arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Learn the interviewer’s name and title.
  • Greet the interviewer by name and a firm handshake.
  • Use good manners with everyone that you meet.
  • Relax and answer each question concisely and honestly. Do not over explain.
  • Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Eye contact shows interest and confidence. It is one of the most important aspects of nonverbal communication.
  • Use proper English – avoid using slang.
  • Be positive!
  • Greet the interviewer: “Thank you for meeting with me. I’ve been looking forward to meeting with you.”
  • Demonstrate your interest in the position by asking questions about the company and the position. Write the questions down ahead of time. Some questions you may ask:
    • “Could you summarize a day in this position?”
    • “What traits do your successful employees have in this position?”
    • “What are your company’s short term goals?”
    • “Long term goals?”
    • “Why do people enjoy working here?”
  • Focus on achievements relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Listen and adapt. Be sensitive to the style of the interviewer. Remember that communication is a two way thing so don’t talk too much and do not interrupt when the interviewer is talking.
  • Be enthusiastic!
  • Prepare a 1-2 minute summary of your background. Practice it. After your summary say, “_______ at Lexicon Solutions told me about the position, but I would like to hear more.” This will defer the conversation to the interviewer.
  • Be ready for traditional questions:
    • What are your strengths?
    • What are your weaknesses?
    • Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
    • What are your two top accomplishments?
    • Why should we hire you?
  • Never ask about salary, fringe benefits, or time off. Let the interviewer lead into these areas of discussion.
  • Know what you have to offer, prove what you can do and sell yourself!

End the interview positively:

Don’t just fade away. Here are some key questions to ask your interviewer:
  • What in my background would you like to know more about?
  • What is the next step?
  • What, if anything, would prevent me from moving to the next step?
  • Ask for the job. Let them know you want the position!
  • Remember, you want the interviewer to know you are interested. If there are two equal candidates, the one who asks, gets!
  • Thank the interviewer for their time and shake their hand.
  • Remember you never get a second chance to make a first impression!
  • Try to relax and be yourself.

Good Luck!

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