HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW

“You won’t get the part unless you look the part.”
-Rites of Passage at $100,000 Plus by John Lucht

  • Be refreshed, prepared, and on time.
    • Be early if possible.
  • Research your potential employer’s business.
  • Be prepared to ask questions.
  • Bring your master application, resume, cover letter, social security card, and photo ID.
  • Dress appropriately.
    • Dress in a businesslike manner, not as if you were going on a date.
    • Wear the best you can afford.
      • Classic dressing is most appropriate.
      • When you visit the work place of your potential employer, pay close attention to the clothing of workers about five years your senior, not to junior employees who are not yet proven.
    • Be clean: take a shower, use a deodorant-antiperspirant.
    • No jeans, no tank tops, no shorts
    • No dirty, unshined, scruffy shoes
    • No heavy perfumes or after shave lotions; some people are allergic to fragrances.
    • No heavy jewelry.
    • Take your nose rings and/or tongue barbells off.
    • No dirty hands or nails; no chipped nail polish and stick with light or clear polish
    • No gum, but assume you have bad breath.
      • Use mouthwash, a spray or a mint just before the interview.
    • No dirty hair, long hair (males), or heavy facial hair.
      • Extreme colored hair and hairstyles are discouraged!
    • Cover up any tattoos.
  • A good beginning sets the stage for the “halo effect” – when the interviewer likes you right away, the interviewer may assume that if you excel in one area (your image), you excel in others.
    • Some employers make a subconscious hiring decision within SECONDS of meeting a job seeker.

Specific for females

  • No heavy make-up
  • No make-up on the collar line
  • No long nails that begin to curve
  • No hosiery runs
  • No bra straps or undergarments showing
  • Make sure colors in outfit match
  • Flat shoes or low heals recommended
  • Avoid short hemlines
  • Avoid plunging necklines
  • Avoid see-through fabrics
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing
  • Avoid open-toed or sling back shoes
  • Avoid exposed midriff

Specific for males

  • A fresh shave
  • Over-the-calf dark socks
  • No big, baggy pants
  • No nail polish
  • No hats of any kind
  • No underwear/undershirts showing
  • No dirty-looking socks

DURING THE INTERVIEW

  • Be confident, but not arrogant.
  • Maintain good eye contact.
  • Listen carefully, think before answering a question, and speak clearly.
  • Do not use slang or grammatically incorrect words. (i.e. “yea”, “like”, “um.”)
  • Be honest, and do not exaggerate.
  • Sit up straight.
  • Be interested and be interesting.
  • Have pride in yourself and what you do.
  • Go alone, but then meet someone after the interview so you can “debrief,” relax, and talk through your experience.
  • Use a firm handshake—not a death grip and certainly not a dead fish.
  • Be polite and courteous to everyone.
  • Say “Thank you” to those who have taken time to interview you.

POTENTIAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What are you looking for in a job?
  • What do you like best in a supervisor?
  • What made you choose us as a prospective employer?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What are the areas in which you feel you could improve?
  • What kind of practical experience (or volunteer work or school activity) have you had that would help you in this position?
  • How have your extracurricular activities or volunteer work prepared you for work?
  • What are your future plans?
  • Describe a time when you:
    • worked effectively with others.
    • worked well under pressure.
    • organized a major project.
    • solved a difficult problem.
    • accepted constructive criticism.
  • Describe the person you most admire and why you admire them.
  • Tell me about the responsibilities you have had at a current or previous job.
  • What do you think it takes for a person to be successful?
  • If your English teacher were sitting here with us, what would he/she tell us about you?
  • Tell me about a time you had a problem with an adult and how you handled it.