Prepare for your interview
Practice for your interview
About the job:
- Why do you want to work for this business?
- Why should I hire you?
- What salary and benefits do you expect?
- What are your short-term and long-term professional goals?
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
- How do you spend your free time?
- Describe an accomplishment you feel proud of.
- Why are you leaving your current job (or why haven't you held a job in awhile)?
- Give examples of conflict resolution, leadership, or problems you've solved. Be sure to include what you learned from past mistakes.
Before your interview
- Make sure to complete any required forms carefully, and proofread them.
- Charge your cell phone and remember to enter the company’s phone number and take note of the address and how long it will take you to travel to the interview. Plan to arrive 10 or 15 minutes early. If the location is unfamiliar, you may want to go there once before the day of your interview.
- Plan to dress simply and conservatively. Be well groomed, and avoid strong perfume or noticeable makeup.
At the interview
- Once you arrive at the interview, be sure to turn off your cell phone.
- When you are introduced, immediately thank the interviewer for his or her time and express pleasure at meeting him or her.
- Remain standing until you are offered a seat. Once seated, sit up straight and look directly at the interviewer. Channel nervousness into attentiveness.
- At the interview’s conclusion, thank the interviewer for his or her time. If you are interested in the job, communicate that. Try to get an idea of the company’s hiring time frame. Shake hands firmly.
What to talk about during the job interview
- Ask questions to communicate your interest in the company and the position.
- Give brief examples to illustrate your responses.
- Be prepared for silence. It’s the interviewer’s job to initiate. Don’t rush to fill the silence, but you may want to prepare questions about the company or the position in case you become uncomfortable.
What to avoid during the job interview
- Don’t take copious notes—it’s more important to engage with the interviewer.
- Don’t ramble when responding to the interviewer’s questions.
- Don’t bring up money. Let the interviewer do that.
- After you leave, take some notes in order to compare with other possible job offers.
- As soon as possible, send the interviewer a brief, polite thank-you note.
- If you are offered the job and want it, accept the offer verbally and write a brief letter of acceptance as soon as possible. If you do not want the job, write a refusal letter or e-mail.