During the job interview

The most powerful weapon to achieve the success in a Job Interview is preparation. Here, we will provide useful tips that will give you an advantage when facing the day of the interview.

Make a Good First Impression

The outcome of the interview will depend largely on the impression you make during the first five minutes.

To succeed, you must project a professional, competent and enthusiastic image. Your aim is to convince the interviewer that you would be an asset to the company. Keep the following in mind:

  • Be punctual. Do whatever it takes to arrive a few minutes early. If necessary, drive to the company the night before and time yourself. Allow extra time for traffic, parking and slow elevators.
  • Dress Right. Your clothing should be appropriate for the position you're seeking. Attire must fit well within the office and be immaculate. If you don't know what the typical attire at the company is, call and ask! Shoes should be polished; pants/skirts and shirts pressed.
  • Shake Well. A firm handshake is appropriate and projects confidence. Make eye contact when you shake.
  • Speak correct body language. Send the right message by standing straight, moving confidently, and sitting slightly forward in your chair.
  • Let the employer lead into conversations about benefits. Your focus on salary, stock options and vacation time can turn off an otherwise-interested interviewer.

Interview recommendations

  • Be honest. Tell the interviewer about your work skills, strengths and experience, including any volunteer work you have done. If you haven’t had a particular kind of experience, say so, but also demonstrate your ability to learn new skills by changing the focus back to a time when you did so for a prior employer.
  • Be enthusiastic. Show your clear interest in the job you are seeking and in the business. Smile and make frequent eye contact. Listen attentively and take notes.
  • Find common ground. Pictures, books, plants, etc., in the office can be conversation starters. But beware! I once heard of an applicant who, spying a picture on the employer’s desk said: "Hey, Tommy Lasorda. Have you met him?" "Her", corrected the hiring manager. "That's my wife".

Have your own agenda

And know where the interview should be heading. This will give you confidence and help you move from one area of questioning to the next.

Remember: Most interviewers are as uncomfortable as you are. They just want the position to be filled as fast as possible.

If you can put the interviewer at ease by helping things move smoothly, you'll improve your chances of being hired. Remember the following:

  • Listening skills. Listen carefully and ask questions to probe deeper into what the interviewer is telling you. Most interviewers are delightfully surprised by a question such as, "How could I help you solve the problem you've just described?"
  • Avoid negative statements about previous jobs or employers. NEVER make them. Instead, be diplomatic. No matter how bad your last job or boss was, there's probably something good you learned from the experience. Emphasize the positive - with a smile.