1. Be 15 minutes early. Leave extra time for the unexpected. Get your thoughts together, fill out application forms and observe the company surroundings and the employees.
  2. Bring a fresh copy of your resume along with a portfolio pad holder and pen. Pad should contain key points you wish to convey to sell yourself and pre-thought questions.
  3. An employer forms 50% of his/her decision on chemistry with the candidate and 50% on qualifications and experience. Your appearance is very important. For a woman, it is very important to be dressed in a conservative suit, wear pumps and have hair and makeup appropriate. A man should normally wear a suit and tie, have polished shoes and be well groomed. If it is a plant environment, a man should wear dress slacks and an open-collar, colored dress shirt or conservative sports shirt. You should extend your hand for a firm handshake, make eye contact and smile when introduced to all company personnel.
  4. After you sit down, the employer will usually talk about the weather or other related "ice breakers", then usually will say, "Tell me about yourself." This is an excellent chance for you to sell yourself. This response should be a well-rehearsed two- to three-minute presentation that outlines your career progression showing ever-increasing responsibilities and the more significant accomplishments made in each of your more recent positions. It is important to use action and leadership words and results phrases:
Action Words Leadership Words/Phrases Results Words/Phrases
planned organized lead to
created directed contributed to
conceived lead demonstrated that
formulated supervised saved
originated guided reduced
developed managed collected
implemented responsible for achieved
  presided over provided for
  coordinated increased
  built shot holes in
  gave direction to evaluated

 Remember, your future boss…

  1. Let the interviewer set the tone and tempo for the interview.
  2. Be prepared to sell yourself in the interview and tell why you are right for the job. Be sure to do research on the company at the library or through industry contacts. Have pre-thought questions to ask to demonstrate interest, intelligence and to establish dialogue. You are judged by the quality of the questions you ask:
  1. An important part of the preparation process is to list all the possible responsibilities of the new job on one side of a page and then list the similar responsibilities of a previous position held i.e.:
  2. New Job Responsibilities Similarities from Previous Positions

    (1) ________________________________ (1) _________________________________

    (2) ________________________________ (2) _________________________________

    (3) ________________________________ (3) _________________________________

    The purpose of this exercise is to be able to make analogies between past history and what is expected in the new position. Writing this information down also helps you to retrieve this information readily during the interview.

  3. As a candidate, you should not be the one to bring up salary. If the subject does come up, use a response similar to the following: "There are two reasons why I’m here today. Obviously, money is one, but the key issue is that at the end of our meeting process, if you have an interest in me, I would like to entertain your strongest offer."
  1. Closing the interview: Ask, "In your opinion, what makes me right or wrong for this position?" (If employer has misconception, correct it; if employer states a shortcoming, point out an offsetting attribute.)
  2. Ask for the job. All things being equal, people hire people who want to work for them. You should close with one or the other of the following:
    1. "As I understand it, you are looking for someone who does…" and read back to them the primary duties. Then ask, "Do I have the qualifications to fulfill the requirements for this position?" It is critical that you wait for an answer no matter how long it takes. If the answer is yes, then you can say, "I’m very interested in this position and I’m prepared to accept an offer if you are prepared to extend one." If the hiring authority feels that you are weak in any area, you can reassure him/her with a past accomplishment in the same area.
    2. Another less direct approach would be to say, "I’m interested in pursuing this opportunity. What’s the next step?" If the hiring authority says he is interviewing other candidates, you can evaluate where you stand by asking, "How do my qualifications compare with the people you are currently talking with?" This may open an additional opportunity to introduce another benefit of your past experience.

Also ask, "When will you make a decision?"

  1.   Contact your recruiter after the interview for debriefing.
  2.   Write a note of appreciation to the person with whom you interviewed.

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