Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Nail That Interview!

You’ve caught the recruiter’s attention with your resume and cover letter and now you are invited in for an interview. Sometimes this can be the most intimidating step in the job application process, but don’t worry because we’ve got some great tips to help you feel confident and ready to nail your interview.


1. Research, research, research!

The worst mistake you can make going into an interview is not researching the company. Companies want to know that you value their company and are passionate to work for them. So expect questions like: “ Why do you prefer X-Company above all others?” NEVER ask “What do you do here?” as you should already know that. It would also be good to add something in here about preparing your responses to the questions. This is always based on the position description & identifying the key qualifications/skills the employers is looking for.

2. Dress for Success

Regardless of what the company’s atmosphere is like, dressing in business attire is encouraged! By dressing up in professional attire you are giving the company the impression that you are serious and really care! Remember it is ALWAYS better to be overdressed rather than underdressed.

3. Arrive EARLY!!

Timeliness is always the first impression an employer takes note on so arriving late may start your interview off to a negative start. Traffic or “I couldn’t find my phone” is NO excuse. You should always give yourself enough time to get ready and drive to your interview with time to spare. This also includes making sure you are prepared with whatever you need to bring to the interview. Make sure you have a notebook for notes and questions, business cards, and an extra copy of your resume and cover letter .


1. Be confident!

2. Avoid fillers (um, ah, etc). If you need a moment to collect your thoughts just pause.

3. Team Language. Respond to questions with phrases like: “As a member of your team…”

4. Appropriate nonverbal cues. Your nonverbal cues consist of fifty percent of your interview. Make sure you:

a. Have good posture

b. Lean forward

c. Occasionally nod your head in understanding

d. Maintain eye contact

5. Show off your personality and enthusiasm. Make sure you are positive and excited about the company and your possible job. It’s also crucial to be yourself. Remember, the interview is the time when the manager is deciding whether or not your personality is appropriate for their environment.

6. Relevant and specific information when giving examples. Read the position description thoroughly to identify what the employer is looking for and in your preparation, identify how your skills and experience match – then develop examples to demonstrate these skills and experiences.

7. Always have questions to ask them. During your preparation, create a list of general questions to ask at the end of the interview. You may also have additional questions you think of during the interview. Some may include: “Can you describe the characteristics and skills the ideal candidate will have?”, “What is the time frame for filling this position?”

8. End with confidence and enthusiasm. Be sure you end with a confident conclusion on what you discussed during the interview and why you are the best candidate for the job.


1. ALWAYS send a thank you note. Whether it is an email or a personable hand written note, the employer will take notice and remember you better. Remember, in any part of the job search process, the more memorable you can make yourself the better you will stand out!

2. Within a week, if you have not heard back from the employer it is appropriate to politely follow up on the interview.


- Wimpy handshake

- Poor eye contact

- Not professionally dressed

- Not comfortable talking about themselves

- Not practiced or prepared

- Not citing specific examples when providing answers

- Offers lame responses to weakness questions

- Asks about salary during first interview

- Not showing sincere interest or enthusiasm

- Not prepared to ask questions

Career Services offer appointments for interview preparation and mock Interviews. These interviews will help give you practice before the real deal. The last thing you want is to make mistakes during your actual interview! To schedule your appointment, visit the Career Services Website or call our office at 303-492-6541.