Return to Headlines

Interviewing

 

You have worked your tail off to get an interview and now your mind is spinning in anticipation of the one-on-one meeting. Here are a few tips to help slow the mental wheels down and relieve some stress as you prepare.

 

Ten Steps for a Successful Interview
(not guarantee of job, but at least you won’t hurt yourself)

 

  • Small Details
    Small things say a lot about your preparation for the interview.  Get pronunciation of all goods and services right.  If you're meeting someone with a jawbreaker name, call the secretary to nail down job titles.

  • Corporate Culture
    Dress appropriately for the corporate culture. Find out what employees generally wear each day and kick it up a notch. If it's jeans and a T-shirt at a dot-com, khakis and a sports coat or a blazer and a skirt will do just fine for the interview. When in doubt, overdress.
  • Kill the Cell Phone
    Turn off the cell phone during the interview. A ringing cell phone tells the interviewer that you're not serious about the job. Always make eye contact with the person you're speaking to.
  • Breaking News
    Always read the latest news about the company the morning of the interview. You don't want to be caught by surprise, and the ability to discuss the latest news underscores your interest in the company.
  • Work Samples
    Work samples are pieces of information that you have completed, demonstrating what you can do or have done in the past. Examples: papers, projects, multi-media productions, etc… Send work samples to the company prior to the interview. Bring extra copies to the interview as a backup. Always have several extra copies of your résumé tucked in your briefcase. The idea is to let them see tangibly what you can do for them.
  • First Impression
    Always run your cover letter and résumé through the spell checker. Then have an eagle-eyed friend proofread it. This sounds obvious, but many candidates flub it, and a bad first impression is hard to overcome--assuming it's not a killer.
  • Keep It Short
    Limit your cover letter and résumé to a maximum of two pages each. Hit the highlights, and leave the nits and grits of prior jobs to the interview. A résumé is intended to grab an interviewer's attention--not provide chapter and verse of your entire career.
  • Play It Straight
    Write both your cover letter and résumé in clear, crisp language. Don't exaggerate your accomplishments or fudge on your education. But don't dumb things down either. If you're in a highly technical field, the interviewer will know what you're talking about.
  • Be Memorable
    You've got to distinguish yourself from the pack. You do this by being top-notch and offering the employer something other candidates don't. Loud coats and ties or mini-skirts will create an impression, but not the one you seek to make.
  • Say Thanks
    At the conclusion of the interview, always thank the interviewer for taking the time to discuss job prospects. Give a short recap of what you can do for the company and say why you're the best candidate for the job. Say that you'll follow up in a week with a phone call. A firm handshake says a lot on your way out the door.

 

If you want more information from CEO’s and HR department head’s read this article: http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/12/news/economy/job.hunting.fortune/index.htm


Things Not To Say In A Job Interview


Even in a relatively strong job market, it can be tough to make yourself stand out from the competition. So it seems some job hunters these days are resorting to, um, innovative (or is that desperate?) ways of making sure their interviews are unique and memorable.

In a poll of hiring managers, Accountemps, a worldwide accounting-and-finance staffing firm based in Menlo Park, Calif., asked, "What is the wackiest or most unusual pitch you've heard from a job seeker about why he or she should get the job?"

Here are the top ten:

The job hunter...

  • "...told me to hire him because he was allergic to unemployment."
  • "... said that we should hire him because he would make a great addition to our softball team."
  • "...said he should get the job because he had already applied three times and he felt that it was now his turn to be hired."
  • "...said we had nice benefits, which was good because he was going to have to take a lot of leave in the coming year."
  • "... drafted a press release announcing that we had hired him."
  • "... explained that he had no relevant experience for the job he was interviewing for, but his friend did."
  • "... delivered his entire cover letter in the form of a rap song."
  • "...told me she wanted the position because she wanted to get away from working with people."
  • "...brought his mother to the interview and let her do all the talking."
  • "...when our company moved to Texas, gave us his resume in a ten-gallon hat."

 



Taken from
http://money.cnn.com/2007/10/10/news/economy/dumb.moves.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2007101112 in January, 2009)