Read the following tips to help you prepare for an interview.
- Memorize your CV.
- Find out about the company. Visit the company’s Web site or go see the offices. This will help you explain to the interviewer why you want to work there.
- Make sure you know where your interview will take place so you’re not late. You could even make the trip beforehand.
- Decide what you are going to wear ahead of time.
You should also be aware that the first impression is often the one that people remember the most, and also the one that will probably count the most if an employer has to choose between two equally-qualified candidates. Always keep your sense of humour and stay calm: it will help!
Here are a few dos and don’ts:
- Arrive 5 to 10 minutes ahead of time.
- Arrive well groomed, watch your posture and dress appropriately.
- Smile and give the interviewer a firm handshake when you introduce yourself.
- Look the interviewer in the eye throughout the interview. This will show that you are open to a discussion. Avoid making too many hand gestures as you speak.
- Use formal language and address the interviewer with respect.
- Respond frankly, honestly and positively to questions while taking time (but not too much time) to think about your answers.
- Speak well of former employers or colleagues (if the interviewer asks you about your relationships with them).
- Be natural, friendly, dynamic, interesting and alert.
- At the end of the interview, there is usually a question period. Use this time wisely if the interviewer didn’t give you enough information about job tasks, salary or schedule.
- Thank the interviewer for his or her time and shake hands.
- Don’t arrive late or too early (which could increase your level of stress).
- Don’t have bad breath, slouch or wear inappropriate clothing (jeans, old T-shirt or tank top, nose ring, running shoes, etc.).
- Don’t be shy, forget to smile, look at your feet or even worse, be arrogant or impatient.
- Don’t swear, show disrespect or speak in slang.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
- Don’t criticize or put down former employers or colleagues.
- Don’t forget to think before you speak. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, appear uninterested or tune out of the conversation.
- Don’t ask questions while the interviewer is speaking. Many of your questions will likely be answered if you are patient.
- Don’t leave without thanking or shaking hands with the interviewer.
- Many questions come up often during job interviews. You can start preparing by thinking of answers that will “sell” you to the employer. Read a list of these questions.
- Visit the section on interview evaluation criteria to find out more!
Even if you don’t end up getting the job, the interview will have brought you valuable experience for the next one.