You have done your homework, you know what you have to offer a prospective employer and you are dressed appropriately. Now, you are about to experience the most important 30-90 minutes of this complex, time-consuming and frequently exhausting process known as “landing a job.”
Networking, telephoning and correspondence help you get an interview, but it is the interview that lands you the job. Keep that in mind as you prepare.
When You are Talking
- Talk only about your skills and achievements that relate to the job in question.
- Respond directly to questions, but limit your answers to what was asked. If you do not understand a question, ask for clarification.
- Do not say anything negative about former employers or instructors.
- Reiterate your interest in the job at the end of the interview.
The Power of Knowledge and Questions
- Do research before the interview. Visit the company or organization’s website, read recent articles and look at marketing materials.
- Review typical interview questions beforehand to help you feel more relaxed during the interview.
- Ask questions. Learn from the employer what you can expect from the job.
- Ask about the next step in the job application process and when you can expect to be contacted again.
A Sensitive Area: Salary
- Do not mention salary unless the interviewer talks about it.
- If asked about your salary history, ask what range the employer is considering for the position.
- Do salary research so that you can be knowledgeable about typical salaries for similar jobs in your area.
Being Professional Pays Off
- Show up no less than five minutes before your scheduled interview time.
- Dress appropriately. It is better to error on the side of formal than to be too casual.
- Offer a firm handshake, sit up straight, speak clearly and make eye contact.
Follow-Up is Important Too
- Put a thank you note in the mail as soon as the interview finishes.
- If you do not hear from the company or organization in the expected time, wait a few more days, then call to check in and reiterate your continued interest.