A job interview is your chance to shine
If you are searching for a job, you know it’s a long process. From writing your resume, to searching the job postings, to submitting your application, it can be time consuming. One of the most important milestones in the process is getting invited to a job interview. Getting an interview is great news, because it means the employer is interested in learning more about you. It’s your chance to show them why you are the best candidate for the position.
How can you make the most out of your job interview? How can you impress the employer and convince them that you are the right person for the job? Here are some do’s and don’ts of job interviewing. Make sure you review these before the big day arrives.
#1: DON’T act clueless.
DO: Research the employer as much as possible. You want to show the employer that you know about their company. During your research, look for this information:
- Review the company’s website to better understand the corporate structure, mission, and the services/products they offer
- Search for online reviews of the company
- Review any financial reports that are available publicly
- Do a news search to see if they’ve been in the news recently
#2: DON'T wear jeans and a hoodie.
DO: Find an appropriate interview outfit. A business suit is usually a safe option, or sometimes business casual can work, such as a blazer, sport coat, ironed shirt, and professional-looking shoes. Also remember to make sure your hair and makeup look professional that day. For tips on dressing for an interview, try this advice for men and for women.
#3. DON'T wing it.
DO: Practice what you will say. While you can never know exactly what the interviewer will ask you, it is still possible to practice for an interview using sample interview questions. These might include:
- What experiences make you qualified for this position?
- Describe your computer and technical skills.
- Describe a situation where you had to solve a problem and how you handled it.
- Why are you interested in this job?
- Give an example of a time in the past when you demonstrated team work.
- Where do you hope to be in your career 5 years from now?
The more you practice, the more you can develop phrases and wording that work. This will help you sound more well-spoken and more confident. When you’re ready, set up a mock interview appointment with a career services representative. This is another great way to practice.
#4: DON'T use negative body language.
DO: Smile and give firm handshake. You’ve probably heard many times that first impressions count, and it’s true! When you meet your interviewer, be sure to look them in the eye, smile, and wait for them to offer a handshake. During the interview, use open body language. For example, keep your arms unfolded, sit slightly forward in your set, don’t slouch, maintain good eye contact, and keep a pleasant expression. Try to avoid nervous tics, like “um’s” and “likes” or giggling.
#5: DON’T forget to bring your own questions.
DO: Come up with a list of questions ahead of time. Interviews are not only a chance for the employer to learn about you…they are also your chance to learn about the employer. Be sure to bring questions with you, such as:
- What qualities are you looking for in an employee?
- What are top priorities you would want the employee to focus on?
- What would a typical day on this job be like?
- Who are the other members of the department?
- What is the reporting structure?
- What are the short-term and long-term goals of the department?
- What do you enjoy about working here?
#6: DON'T show up empty-handed.
DO: Bring a few copies of your resume and references. Even though you’ve already submitted your resume to the company, it’s always a good idea to bring at least 5 extra copies with you. Bring your list of references too, in case the employer asks for it. Also bring a pen and a notebook to write down any questions or notes you may want to take down.
#7: DON’T show up late.
DO: Arrive about 10 minutes early. If you live in a congested area, be sure to leave yourself plenty of travel time to allow for traffic backups. You might even want to do a dry run the day before to see how long it takes you to drive there, or use a GPS app that accounts for traffic delays.
We hope these do’s and don’ts are a good refresher for you as you prepare for your next job interview. The more you prepare, the more confident you will be when you sit down with the interviewer. Once you’re called into the interviewer’s office, don’t forget to take a deep breath, hold your head up high, and go for it!
The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health, located in Manchester, New Hampshire, prepares adults for jobs in the field of health care. Learn more about our nursing school today!