20 Tips for Interview Success

Practice InterviewContributed by Jenny Schroth, Director of Career Services, Globe University

Congratulations on securing an interview! The fact that you have been invited to interview indicates that your resume has done its job proving you are qualified to successfully complete the job requirements. Now it’s up to you!

This is your chance to supply information that is NOT on your resume (personality, communication skills, etc.) while also gaining additional information on the employer. Remember, interviewing is a two-way street and this is your opportunity to evaluate whether this is a good “fit” for you too!

Although there is no set recipe for a successful interview, these 20 tips should improve your odds:

  1. Research the company prior to going to the interview. It’s likely you will be asked “What do you know about our company?” Go beyond their website. For example, use LinkedIn to network with current or previous employees to learn more.
  2. Get directions so you know where you are going for the interview. If possible, complete a “trial” drive by so you know where you will be parking and if there is construction. Will you need to park in a parking ramp or have quarters for a parking meter?
  3. Know who you are interviewing with – get names and titles.
  4. Dress appropriately. A general rule of thumb is to err on the side of professional, yet conservative.  I suggest business professional.
  5. Perfect your hygiene: shower, brush your teeth and hair, wear deodorant but go without cologne/perfume. Some people are allergic to different aromas.
  6. Bring your resume, references, pad folio and, if relevant, a portfolio of samples of your work, skills and accomplishments.
  7. Be 10-15 minutes early.
  8. Every time someone enters the interview room, stand up and shake their hand.
  9. Employers generally make their decision in the first five minutes.  Therefore, it’s important to quickly build rapport.
  10. Have good eye contact and smile often, but appropriately.Interview Practice
  11. Display confidence through your energy, tone of voice, posture, and other non-verbals.
  12. Prepare an elevator speech (a 30-60 second introduction to you, your skills and qualifications).
  13. Prepare a list of your top 10 selling points and try to integrate these throughout the interview.
  14. Give specific answers and examples to prove your qualifications.  Avoid vague statements.
  15. If you don’t understand a question, ask for it to be repeated or clarified.
  16. Always ask questions about the company when given the opportunity. Ensure you aren’t asking questions that could easily be answered on their website.
  17. Create a strong closing by summarizing why you are a great “fit”, reiterating your interest in the position and expressing appreciation for the interviewer’s time.
  18. Ask for business cards from each person that interviews you.
  19. Send a thank you letter, email or phone call within 48 hours.
  20. And of course… do a mock interview with Career Services, where you will receive constructive feedback for improvement.