Preparation is key to a good interview. In order to convince an employer that you're the best candidate for a position, you must be able to communicate with confidence the value you bring to the organization in terms that address the needs of the employer.
- Review your work history and education. Identify you best qualities (skills, values, interests, talents, successes).
- Research the company. Know their products or services and be prepared to ask some related questions.
- Think like the employer. What would you need to hear in order for you to hire someone for this position? Use this question as a guide to determining how to answer questions posed to you. Be well practiced in answering common interview questions.
- Identify three to five assets you want the interviewer to know you have. Volunteer the information if the questions asked don't easily elicit the information from you.
- In advance decide how you will serve the needs of the employer. Think in terms of quality of work, increased efficiency and effectiveness, and lower waste in time, effort and resources.
- For the interview, dress in clothing that's suitable for the job or one step up.
- Let your handshake feel comfortable yet firm. A handshake shouldn't be limp or too tense.
- Maintain good eye contact through out the interview.
- Reflect energy, enthusiasm and confidence during the interview.
- Be concise and clear when discussing your qualifications. Use examples to support your claims of skills, competencies and personal attributes.
- Mention any accomplishments (in work or school) that are of particular merit.
- At the end of the interview, ask when a decision will be made.
- Within a day or two of the interview, send the interviewer a thank-you note, thanking him/her for the opportunity to interview, reaffirming your continued interest in the position and reminding him/her of what makes you a qualified candidate.
- If you haven't heard from the employer within the time indicated, you may call inquiring about the status of the position. You may want to reemphasize your interest if a decision hasn't been made.
Take the following categories into account when reviewing your performance.
- Overall level of confidence.
- Handshake, eye contact and gestures.
- Body language that conveys confidence and a positive attitude.
- Skills and qualifications emphasized throughout the interview.
- Responses that were concise and clearly addressed the questions.
- Asked pertinent questions.
- Persuasive or convincing interview style.
- Conveyed enthusiasm and interest in the job.
- Ways to improve performance.