Tips on Interviewing Strategy

  1. Be on time. That means around ten minutes early.
  2. Know the interviewer’s name and use it in the interview. Using a person’s name personalizes the conversation and adds warmth.
  3. Bring a few copies of your resume. Demonstrate that you’re prepared in case the one you sent isn’t available.
  4. Expect to spend some time developing rapport. Don’t jump right in and get down to business. Personal chemistry is a main ingredient in the hiring process.
  5. Watch your non-verbal communication. Pay attention to your physical posture. Maintain eye contact but don’t stare him/her down. Don’t appear over-relaxed or too rigid.
  6. Don’t be embarrassed by nervousness. Being nervous can be a good sign-it shows you are taking the interview seriously. However, avoid nervous movements. Your stomach can be churning and your palms sweating, but don’t fidget with objects and bounce in your seat.
  7. Don’t play comedian or try to entertain the interviewer. Unless of course you are interviewing for a job as an entertainer.
  8. Don’t exaggerate. It will come back to haunt you.
  9. Follow the interviewer’s lead. Don’t try to take over the interview. Stick to the subject at hand, but don’t dwell too long on one point.
  10. Be prepared for personal questions. Anticipate how you will handle personal questions without blowing your cool.
  11. Pay attention. Don’t let your mind wander. Stay focused on what is being said.
  12. Be sure you understand the question. It is okay to ask for clarification.
  13. Emphasize the positive. Don’t apologize for lack of experience or weaknesses. Have self-confidence.
  14. Don’t interrupt the interviewer. Remember, the interview is a type of social interaction so keep manners in mind.
  15. Wait for an offer to talk about salary. Otherwise, don’t ask unless the interviewer brings up the subject. You don’t want to look “money hungry”.
  16. Pay attention to the timing of your answers. Time is occasionally needed to think and reflect-for both you and the interviewer. However, don’t stall on answers or be overly hasty with your reply.
  17. Emphasize what you can do. Employers are mostly concerned with what you can do for them. Focus on your transferable skills. For example, your ability to learn quickly, communicate effectively, and other skills you can provide for that company.
  18. Don’t try to give the “answer he/she wants”. Employers can see right through that.
  19. Take pen and paper. However, don’t take notes during the interview. Immediately following the interview, write down all pertinent information as well as your thoughts and impressions. You will be glad you didn’t trust your memory to remember everything.
  20. Don’t be argumentative. Avoid debate. Arguing with an interviewer will not make a good first impression.
  21. Do not speak negatively about a former employer, a teacher, a friend, or an institution. It only reflects on you. If there were problems with previous experiences, try to put answers in the positive rather then the negative. If you slight a former employer, the interviewer may assume you will someday do the same to him/her.
  22. Don’t overplay your technical knowledge. If you really know a particular computer program or hardware that’s great. Otherwise, avoid showing off knowledge that you don’t possess.
  23. Try to be as specific as possible. Never say “I’ll do anything.” Have a sense of direction. Take charge of your own life or someone else will take charge for you.
  24. Watch your grammar. Employers are interested in candidates who can express themselves articulately and properly. Even if you have to go slow and correct yourself, accuracy is preferred.
  25. Have questions prepared. Having questions shows you have an interest in the company and your future.
  26. Don’t bring in a pile of exhibits or samples unless asked.
  27. Don’t expect an offer on the spot. Offers usually follow the interview, sometimes two or three weeks later. If you are offered the position on the spot, it is appropriate for you to ask for one or two days thinking time before responding.
  28. Be very careful with the closing. End quickly and courteously. Don’t try to flatter the interviewer or linger too long after the interview ends.
  29. Remember to follow-up on the interview. No interview is complete until you follow-up with a thank you note. This is professional business etiquette that also reaffirms your interest in the position.

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL: Be yourself! You don’t want to get hired on the basis of something you’re not. You want to be hired for who you are. YOU!

How to Sell Yourself to an Employer
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