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Tips for a Successful Interview

  1. Dress appropriately and use good manners. Your appearance should be neat and clean, pressed and polished. Always remember to say please and thank you. Remember—you rarely get a second chance to make a good first impression!
  2. Be on time. If you are late for the interview, the employer may decide that you are not really interested in the job or that you would show up late for work. Arrive 15 minutes ahead. 
  3. Show that you are knowledgeable about the company. Interviewers are inclined to look more favorably on a candidate who has made the effort to research the company and the position.
  4. Think—tropical breezes. Self-doubts and fear of failure can damage a job interview. Be calm and aware of any nervous behavior (nail-biting, hair twirling, etc.). Do some deep, slow breathing exercises before entering the meeting room and think of this experience as just another chance to practice your interview skills.
  5. Unfreeze your face…SMILE! Smiling exudes a positive attitude, confidence, and can make the interview more rewarding for both parties. Show your enthusiasm for the opportunity to meet with the potential employer. Think back to how excited you were when you received the call for this interview—just don’t dance around the office like you did at home.
  6. Practice good communication skills. It is important that you exhibit professional communication skills during the interview.  Speak clearly and effectively, listen attentively, maintain eye contact, and resist distractions that may steal your attention.
  7. Practice answering questions.  Anticipate questions that may be asked during the interview and prepare answers beforehand to some of the more difficult or sensitive questions. Ask a counselor for help.
  8. Follow the interviewer’s lead and stick to the point. Listen carefully; sometimes an interviewer will rephrase a question to check for alertness and consistency. The interviewer is also interested in experience and attitudes that might affect your performance on the job. Avoid discussing details of your personal life.
  9. Express your interest in the job. Ask if you can call back at a certain time to find out about the decision.
  10. Send a thank you letter. Thank the interviewer for his or her time, and stress your desire for the job. Restate your qualifications and mention a couple things you learned during the interview.
  11. Know the interviewer’s name and how to pronounce it.  If you don’t know, ask the receptionist
  12. Bring extra copies of your resume.  Also bring a copy of your transcripts, references and a pen & paper for jotting down information during and after the interview
  13. Don’t interrupt or be rude.
  14. Let the interviewer bring up the subject of salary.  This may not occur until after an offer in made.  However, be prepared for the question, “what salary are you expecting?”
  15. If you catch yourself making an error, correct it.  Don’t try to cover up.
  16. Be yourself, you don’t want to get hired on the basis of something you are not.
  17. Never slight a former employer, teacher or institution.  If there were problems with previous experiences, try to make your answers positive.
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