01. Arrive a little early. If you arrive about fifteen minutes before the scheduled interview time, you will have time to collect your thoughts, wipe the perspiration from your hands, and scan the lobby for current company information. You will also show your interviewer that you value his or her time.
2. Do your homework. Know the interviewer's name and how to pronounce it (including proper title: Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc.). Know the company's major products or services, the organization of the company (divisions, parent company, etc.), current business news about the company and the company's major customers and competitors. You can learn most or all of this information from the company's website, annual report or company literature.
03. Bring a Spare Copy of Your Resume in a Briefcase or Folder. This demonstrates that you are prepared. It also gives the interviewer something to take notes on.
04. Expect to Spend Some Time Developing Rapport. Personal chemistry is a main ingredient in the hiring process. Try to relax and become comfortable with the interviewer.
05. Watch Your Non-Verbal Communication. Maintain an open body posture and appropriate eye contact. Seat yourself at a reasonable distance from the other person. Smile.
06. Don't Be Embarrassed by Nervousness. Interviewers are human, and they often become nervous, too. In fact, nervousness is a good sign - it shows that you are taking the interview seriously. Avoid nervous mannerisms such as tapping your fingers, feet, playing with pens, etc.
07. Body language is powerful! Good eye contact, a warm, natural smile and a firm handshake can help you overcome nervousness, develop a personal rapport and present a confident image.
08. Don't Play Comedian or Try to Entertain the Interviewer. It is important to be personable, but do not overdo it.
09. Don't Exaggerate or Lie. You might be tempted to embellish your achievements in the interview, but it will come back to haunt you on the job!
10. Follow the Interviewer's Lead. Don't try to take over the interview. Stick to the main subject at hand, but do not dwell too long on one point. It is better to deal with many questions rather than just one or two in-depth questions, unless that's where the interviewer leads you.
11. Be Prepared For Personal Questions, Even Some Inappropriate Ones. Anticipate how you will handle personal questions without blowing your cool. Some interviewers may not be aware of what they can and cannot legally ask you. Be sure you understand the question. It is okay to ask for clarification.
12. Emphasize the Positive. Be frank and honest, but never apologize for lack of experience or weaknesses. You can be self-confident without being overconfident or flippant. If you are new to the job market, your lack of experience has one very positive feature: you do not have to "unlearn" bad habits or different practices learned from previous employers. Many employers like the idea that you can be taught their individual company procedures without needing to get rid of other training first.
13. Wait for an Offer to Bring Up Salary. Let the interviewer bring up this subject. Often salary and benefits are not discussed at all on the first interview. Even though everyone knows that salary is important, you do not want to give the impression that it is the only consideration. If it is, you can be easily lured away be a competitor offering a slightly higher salary. The interviewer needs to see that you are interested in the other aspects of the job like the potential for growth, learning or the challenge of the position.
14. Don't be Afraid to Think Before You Speak. Use silence and intentional pause to your advantage. Time is occasionally needed to think and to reflect. The interviewer will respect you for taking a questions seriously enough to give it a moment or two of consideration before answering.
15. Emphasize What You Can Do For The Organization. This means emphasizing your transferable skills. However, be careful not to reveal trade secrets from a previous employer. Employers are concerned most with what you can do for them. Focus on your ability to tackle new situations, your communication skills, interpersonal abilities, analytical thinking talents, and other skills developed while in college or in previous positions.
16. Don't give "Prepared Answers". Most employers know a these stock answers when they hear them. This is a good reason to use interview question / answer guide as just that - guides. If your answers are not personalized to your situation, they will sound forced and unnatural. You might be surprised to learn how often interviewers hear the phrase, "I really like working with people." The phrase is used so often that it has lost it's meaning!
17. NEVER Speak Badly about a Former Employer. If there were problems with previous experiences, try to put your answers in the positive rather than the negative. If you slight a former employer, the interviewer may assume that you will someday do the same to him or her.
18. Watch Your Grammar and Your Manners. Employers are interested in candidates who can express themselves properly. Even if you have to slow down to correct yourself -- do it! Use slang expressions very sparingly. If your knowledge of rules of etiquette are rusty, take a "refresher course" from a knowledgeable friend.
19. Be Prepared to Ask Questions. Almost all interviewers will ask if you have any questions. You should have some ready and should have at least one that is related to the conversation you have just completed. This demonstrates that you are both prepared and interested. Your questions should be related to details about the company and should be based on the information you learned from the homework you have done (see Tip #2). You should not ask questions like "How long to I have to wait before I can take a vacation?" Save those what's-in-it-for-me questions for later.
20. Use Telephone Interviews. If you are applying for jobs in places in other states, you can suggest a short telephone interview. Even a preliminary telephone interview can help you assess whether or not it would be worth your time and expense to travel for a personal interview.
21. Don't Expect an Immediate Job Offer. Offers usually follow the interview, a few weeks later. If you are offered the position on the spot, it is appropriate for you to ask for one or two days to think about the offer before responding.
22. Be Careful With the Closing. Do not linger. End quickly and courteously. Thank your interviewer for the interview. Smile.
23. Be Yourself! You do not want to get hired on the basis of something you are not. You want to be hired for who you are!
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