Interview Tips

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Be aware of what the interviewer expects to be successful in your interviews.

Do:

  • Be enthusiastic and confident. A confident applicant smiles, maintains eye contact, sits upright, and appears relatively relaxed
  • Be yourself. You don’t want to get hired on the basis of something you are not. You want to be hired for who you are: You!
  • Follow the interviewer’s lead. Don’t take over the interview. Stick to the subject at hand but don’t dwell on one point for too long. It is better to address many questions than spend a lot of time on just one or two in-depth questions
  • Be sure you understand the question. Feel free to ask for clarification
  • Don’t rush. It is more beneficial to wait and respond with thought and clarity than to reply too quickly and falter
  • Emphasize the positive. Don’t be modest—this is your time to shine and show how great you are
  • Make corrections. It’s far better to admit and error and stumble than to get caught later in a lie or contradiction
  • Express yourself clearly. Employers are interested in candidates who are articulate. Fully and thoroughly answer questions, but do not babble

Don’t:

  • Be (too) nervous. Nervousness is a good sign that shows that you are taking the interview seriously. However, try to avoid nervous habits like tapping your fingers, swinging your leg, or playing with your hair
  • Exaggerate or lie. It is nearly impossible to recover if an employer catches you in a lie
  • Debate and have a “know it all” attitude. Arguing with an interviewer will shorten the interview and negatively affect your chances of employment
  • Interrupt the employer. A few interruptions are natural, but keep these to a minimum
  • Give an answer you think they want to hear. Most recruiters and employers know a “set answer” when they hear one
  • Slight a former employer, colleague, teacher, or institution. If there were problems with a previous experience, try to frame your answer in the positive rather than the negative. Take responsibility for your role in a situation, rather than blaming others
  • Expect an offer on the spot. Offers usually follow the interview, sometimes two or three weeks later.
  • Overemphasize money or your ambition. Let the interviewer bring up this subject. Now is not the time to overemphasize money or your job title.