Job Interview Tips & Etiquette
by Don Georgevich
Regardless of how many interviews you have completed, every new job interview is stressful. A job interview is often your only chance to prove to a potential employer that you have the skills necessary to fill an open position and benefit the employer's company. Prospective employers typically evaluate your social skills, education, and performance capabilities during a job interview. If you don't make a good impression during the interview, it is unlikely that the employer will offer you the job. For this reason, it is essential to prepare for the interview and master the necessary skills before the day arrives.
Having the skills required to perform the job for which you are interviewing is not always sufficient to land it. You will have a much better chance of receiving an offer from your prospective employer if you practice good interview etiquette. To give the best possible interview, you must prepare well and make sure that you are sharply dressed and groomed appropriately for the occasion. You must also conduct yourself properly during the interview. Finally, you must make sure that you bring all of the required documents with you on the day of the interview and submit them to your prospective employer.
A job interview provides you with the chance to demonstrate your qualifications to a prospective employer, so you must put your best foot forward. Following are several tips that you can use to improve the interview process and solidify your chances of landing the job.
- Examine your education and job history to determine your qualifications for the position.
- Learn as much as you can about the company for which you are interviewing.
- Decide on one or more specific jobs you would like to have within the company before you go to the interview.
- Be prepared to describe your work history and education to the prospective employer in a way that showcases how it relates to the position for which you are applying.
- Be prepared for broad questions like "Why do you want to work here?" and "Why are you best for the job?"
- Practice your interview skills with a relative or friend.
- Dress appropriately for the interview. In most cases, business casual is the best choice.
- Make sure that you are clean and well-groomed.
- Do not smoke or chew gum during the interview.
- Come to the interview location at least 15 minutes early.
- Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and ask for his or her name.
- Practice good manners during all interactions during the interview, including those you have with individuals other than the interviewer.
- Remain calm and answer every question as completely and concisely as possible.
- Speak in proper English and avoid the use of slang words.
- Be enthusiastic and cooperative at all times.
- Make sure that your body language shows the interviewer that you are interested. Do not slouch and be sure to make eye contact.
- Feel free to ask questions about the organization and the position in which you are interested, but do not ask any questions that you could easily have found the answer to by reviewing the company's website.
- Don't ask any questions about benefits or pay unless the interviewer makes you an offer.
- When the interview is over, shake hands with the interviewer and thank him for his time and consideration.
- After the interview, send a polite and concise thank-you note to your contact at the company.
Information to bring to an interview:
- Official identification, such as a driver's license.
- Social Security card.
- Application or resume. If the prospective employer does not request a copy of your resume, make sure that you are prepared to provide him with all of the information the document contains about your training, education, and work history.
- Transcripts. Some employers will request a copy of your official transcripts to view your college degrees, coursework, and grades.
- References. Most prospective employers want at least three references. Don't list anyone as a reference without asking their permission first. Try not to use relatives, and make sure that the people you choose will speak positively about you.
For more job interview tips, consult the following links.
Employment Interviewing Techniques
Job Interview Tips
Tips for a Successful Interview
How to Ask the Right Questions in a Job Interview
Interviewing Tips (PDF)