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Interview Tips

Plan Ahead

Be prepared. Do your homework prior to the interview. Browse through the employer’s website and learn something about this organization before you attend your interview. Research the company and the position if possible. Review your work experiences. Be ready to support past career accomplishments with specific information targeted towards the company’s needs. Prepare your facts and get them right.

Be prepared for questions that are frequently asked by employers such as “Tell me about yourself” or “Why should we hire you?” Write down answers if it helps to make your presentation more concise.

  • Understand your personal goals, traits, characteristics, and interests
  • Understand the position requirements and skills required for the job opening
  • Think of some questions you would like to ask during the interview
  • Prepare a list of references with complete reference contact information, and bring it to the interview
  • Rehearse your opening and closing
  • Confirm the logistics for the interview, e.g., address, time, special parking, dress code, etc.
  • Anticipate questions you may be asked during the interview and develop potential answers
  • Practice, practice, practice answering those questions in front of a mirror

First Impression Counts

You never get a second chance to make a first impression! Dress professionally and appropriately (according to the job you are applying for). Flip-flop sandals and casual attire are definitely out.

If possible, try getting to the venue before the actual interview day to see how long it will take. Transportation may be unreliable or you may have been stuck in heavy traffic, but however reasonable your excuses are, they won’t change the fact that your chances are reduced if you are late. Remember that first impression counts.

  • Be on time
  • Dispose of chewing gum
  • Turn off cell phones/pagers
  • Be well-groomed and dress appropriately
  • Be confident
  • Offer a firm handshake
  • Wait to be offered a seat
  • Smile
  • Introduce yourself using a confident tone of voice

Be Positive

Focus on positive achievements and views. In particular, avoid negative comments about past employers. And don’t talk too much.

Encourage the interviewer to share information about the RHA. Demonstrate your interest. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Show that you want the job with interest. Listen and adapt. Be sensitive to the style of the interviewer. Try to relate your answers to the interviewer and his or her company. Focus on achievements relevant to the position. Talk about specific achievements.

Interviewers like to know how you felt about a particular success. Some will ask for specific examples of things you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of; how you solved problems; how you learned – and improved – from difficult situations.

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Watch body language (crossed arms, leaning backward)
  • Positive body language (raised eyebrows, leaning forward)
  • Have a copy of your resume with you
  • Use interviewer’s name in conversation
  • Think before you talk
  • Avoid the word “No” – interviewer may tune you out
  • Listen – draw upon earlier comments from the interviewer
  • Gain clarification on job itself or how you may fit into role
  • Provide references if requested
  • When will interviewer make decision, how will they notify applicants?
  • Offer to be contacted after the interview if any further questions arise or clarification is required
  • Thank the interviewer for their time. If you are interested in the position, be sure to indicate our interest and why you feel
    you would be the best candidate
  • Close by saying you would welcome the opportunity to work with their team and look forward to hearing from them soon.
  • Ensure to once again use a firm handshake in closing

And finally, don’t give up.

The fact is that you will not be offered every job you applied for, however perfect you think you may be for it. Feedback from interviews where you have been turned down can be invaluable for improving future results. Ask politely if they can give you any feedback. Always remember that there is a job out there for you.

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