Skip Navigation

Basic Rules

  • Always smile, be pleasant and outgoing.
  • Enthusiasm cannot be understated. "I like the work I do, I want this job. I will help your company."
  • Enthusiasm manifests itself in many ways. When you have an opportunity to speak about yourself, do so with confidence. But, don't talk too much. Be an enthusiastic listener. Focus on the interviewer and show attention. Everyone responds favorably to someone demonstrating interests for what he/she is saying.
  • Ask questions about the company in general terms. Do not put the interviewer on the spot with questions he/she either cannot or would not wish to answer. Prepare four or five open-ended probes about the company. Well thought-out questions demonstrate your interest in the company and, most importantly, your ability to focus on pertinent issues involved in the job. Avoid asking questions that reflect any concerns you man have about job security, advancement or benefits. You must impress the interviewer with what you can do for the company, not worry them with what you need. Dumb questions could very well eliminate a job offer.
  • Consider each question as it is asked. Take time to give a correct answer. Always be truthful--answer fully and completely, do not volunteer any detrimental information.
  • Do not appear presumptuous by saying you can "easily" handle the job. This will make you seem overqualified for the position or be viewed as a possible troublemaker or know it. In all probability you will not get a job offer. You should not, however, indicate any doubts or reservations that you can handle the job.
  • Should you be asked what salary you will require, answer with "I'm sure that your company is offering compensation commensurate with the duties of the position." If asked you present or former salary, DO NOT INFLATE IT. This fact can be easily verified. If you have overstated your salary, you will not get the job. This particular ploy for either attempting to impress or for getting a higher salary is a major cause for failing to get jobs.
  • Do not mention any bad experiences at previous jobs. Be extremely positive about ex-employers. Prepare a sound reason for leaving all positions held in the past.
  • When the interviewer indicates that the interview is over, follow his/her lead and exit gracefully. Do not continue to talk or ask questions. Also keep in mind that you are being sized up in every way. In reality, the interview is not over until you have exited the parking lot and are completely out of sight.
  • Be aware that all people in the office may be able to put in a good word for you from their good impression.
  • Know your resume thoroughly. Be prepared to elaborate in any point contained in it. The product you are selling is you--know yourself.
  • Don't feel that you must answer questions that you believe are not job related and that appear to violate EEOC guidelines. Express your feelings calmly and quietly and deal with them in a way that is most comfortable to you.
  • Don't use slang, especially "OK, YOU KNOW, UM," profanity, overuse of Sir or Ma'am or use the interviewer's first name.
  • Use good posture, don't slouch down in your chair, lean on any piece of furniture. Sit up straight (you don't have to be rigid as a statue), face the interviewer and don't chew gum or eat candy or mints.
  • Establish good eye contact. Smile, be enthusiastic. Speak clearly and slowly; vary the tone and volume of your speech.
  • Be neat and clean with conservative dress. Apply cosmetics and perfume scents lightly.
  • Be honest and sincere.
  • Go to bed early the night before the interview so that you are well rested and alert.

Be prepared for at least one surprise question, such as: "What can I do for you? Tell me about yourself. Why are you interested in this company?" You can shift the subject away from personal matters by asking questions about the company and the job.

Make sure that your assets are revealed. if necessary, direct the conversation to highlight your strong points.

If the question of salary makes you feel uncomfortable, you can return the question to the interviewer: How much did you have in mind? But you should know what your minimum requirements are and what the average salaries are for workers with experience and qualifications comparable to your own.

If you are offered a job and are not sure you want it, ask for time to think about it. Accepting a job and then changing your mind will leave a bad taste in many mouths.