Aceing Your Job Interview

Job interviews are never easy and can be quite intimidating for some. Meeting new people, selling yourself and being in the spot light may not come easy to you so it is important to be as well prepared for the interview as possible, to help reduce your stress and put you at ease. By following these few easy steps, you will be on your way to having a great interview!

Be prepared

This may sound very basic but it is imperative that you be prepared for your interview. Interviewers are looking for potential employees that can be on time and have all the materials necessary for their meeting. Be sure you have the name and phone number of the person you'll be meeting with. If something terrible happens and you will have to be late, you will have the ability to call and notify the interviewer. It is also important to bring your resume along. Most likely the interviewer will print out your resume but it is important to have just in case and then you will also be able to follow along if they want to discuss it. For more tips read Preparing for an Interview.

Your interview starts immediately

As soon as you enter the employer’s office, the interview has begun. Use good manners with everyone you meet. If you are rude or short with the receptionist, that may be passed along to the person interviewing you. Employers do not want candidates that are arrogant to others.

It is also important to project enthusiasm and confidence from the very beginning. You never know who may walk past you or be in the lobby while you are waiting. It may be the ultimate decision maker so it is important to look alive. Never talk or text on your cell phone or listen to music while you are waiting.

When you meet the interviewer, greet them with a firm handshake and repeat their name. For example say, “It is a pleasure to meet you Bruce”, while maintaining good eye contact. Employers form opinions of candidates quickly, which places importance on body language and posture.

Stay calm

During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm as possible. When you are asked a question, it is appropriate to take a moment before you answer. Listen to the entire question and answer it concisely. Refrain from using slang and speak clearly. Avoid rambling or speaking too quickly. If you are able to incorporate examples of past experience, do so. If they ask you for an example of a situation you do not have experience in or ask about a skill you do not have, it is okay to be honest. Never lie in an interview but let them know that you are willing to learn. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.

Group interviews

It is possible that your interview may be given by two or more people so it is important to be prepared for that situation. Do not look surprised or annoyed if there is more than one person interviewing you. Just like an individual interview, greet all of your interviewers individually, make eye contact, shake hands and say hello.

During the interview, don't focus on any one individual. When asked a question, address that person first but make sure to engage and have eye contact with the other interviewers as well.


Thank you note

Sending a thank you note shows the employer that you have manners and are appreciative of their time. It demonstrates that you went out of your way to show interest in the company and the position.

A thank you also helps companies remember you after the interview. You can restate your interest in the position and summarize a few of the main points discussed at the interview. It indicates that you are organized and on top of details.

Interview Don'ts

Just as there are specific rules for things to do during the interview, there are some very important don’ts.

Don’t bash your previous employer. This looks petty and will only reflect poorly upon you. If your previous employer was terrible, it is likely that the company who is interviewing you will know that. Especially if it is the same industry.

Don't ask about salary benefits first. Let the interviewer bring it up. Typically, it will be at the end of the interview if they are interested in you. They will probably lead in by asking what you were previously making.

Don't seem needy. Even if you really need the job, do not let on to the interviewer. This may show them that you are unable to keep your personal life to yourself and that looks poorly on you.

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Written by Melanie Fischer, Career & Job Expert who has been writing professionally for over 10 years.