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Interviewing Tips

Preparing for Your Interview

This may be your only opportunity to make a good impression on a perspective employer. Being prepared is the most important thing you can do. One helpful website to visit is Ready Prep Interview, which offers a wide range of interview questions to prepare for.

Research Company and Industry

Find out how long the company has been around, what the organization does, what its mission/goals are, who its client base is, any current events in the company or industry, size of the organization, etc. Find everything you can on the web – not only on the company’s own website, but on news or business sites, too.

Review Past Experiences

Analyze your skills and past experiences so you'll be able to give detailed explanations of your past experiences and "sell" yourself to the employer.

Practice Interview Questions

Review a list of some of the most common interview questions. Mock interviewing with a friend or career counselor will help you know what to expect in an interview and will allow you to develop carefully thought out answers BEFORE the interview. This will help ease your nerves on the day of the interview and hopefully win you the job! For sample interview questions, click here.

Questions for the Employer

Interviewers will almost always ask if you have any questions for them, and if you don't, it looks like you're not interested so you better have a prepared list of questions ready. Focus your questions on the responsibilities of the job, your potential co-workers, how you would be evaluated, training programs, etc. For sample employer questions, click here.

Know Where You're Going

Make sure you know how to get to the interview location. If you don't know where it is, get directions. If possible, make a trip out there in advance of the interview to see how long your travel time is and where you can park.

What to Bring With You

  • Extra copies of your resume and cover letter
  • Names/Addresses/Phone Numbers of references (or information on obtaining your credential file from Nazareth College Career Services)

Mistakes Candidates Often Make When Interviewing

  • Not knowing anything about the company and clearly not having done any research prior to the interview, indicating a lack of interest in and enthusiasm for the company and position
  • Not providing enough detail and specific examples when answering questions about skills/past experiences
  • Being negative and complaining about past employers and/or experiences
  • Not maintaining good eye contact
  • Not exhibiting poise and self-confidence (ex: offering a weak handshake)
  • Not using professional language - (ex: saying "yeah" instead of "yes" and saying "like", "you know", "um" and "uh"
  • Arriving late for the interview
  • Not having questions to ask the employer (See Questions to Ask)
  • Having a poor personal appearance (Interview Attire)
  • Lack of clear and realistic career goals

Interview Attire

Men

  • Conservative is usually better - Be neat and simple (nothing wrinkled or too bright or garish)
  • Dress more formally than you usually would for work, but make sure you’re comfortable
  • Remove any jewelry or accessories that may get in the way or be distracting
  • Should be clean shaven or have well-groomed facial hair and a traditional haircut
  • Should wear clean and polished dark dress shoes and socks
  • Cologne/Aftershave Lotion should never be strong

For more helpful information on appropriate dress for men, read "Dress for the Job You Want" here.

Women

  • Conservative is usually better - Be neat and simple (nothing wrinkled or too bright or garish)
  • Dress more formally than you usually would for work
  • Remove any jewelry or accessories that may get in the way or be distracting
  • Make-up should be natural-looking (nothing too heavy or too bright)
  • Shoes should be flats or low pumps that are clean and polished
  • Should wear hosiery, generally skin tone, to an interview
  • If you wear perfume, it should not be strong

For more helpful information on appropriate dress for women, read "Dress for the Job You Want" here.

 

After the Interview - Thank You Note

Within 24-48 hours, you need to send thank you notes to everyone with whom you met during the interview process. These notes can be word-processed or hand written on a note card, but they must be sent right away. While at the interview, be sure to ask for business cards from everyone you meet so you'll have the correct spelling their names and their correct contact information. In the note, you should thank the interviewer for his or her time and reiterate your interest in the position and company, briefly pointing out once again why you feel it's a great fit for your background. Below is a sample thank you note:

Dear Ms. Smith:

Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. I enjoyed speaking with you about the Sales Manager position, and after learning more about the position, I'm even more excited and think it's a great fit for my background.

As we discussed in the interview, I have extensive experience in sales and believe that my strong attention to detail and communication skills would make me an asset to your organization. AAA Company has a very impressive sales model and is poised for substantial growth. It would be great to be a part of your organization and contribute to this exciting future.

Thanks again for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Jeff Jones

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