Job Seeker Blog

Interview tips from a guy who knows…
W.R.I.I’m twenty-something, and I’ve been to 32 interviews since the age of 19. It seems that I am always interviewing for jobs. I have a really good job, but I’m always looking for something new. Not because I like the “process,” but more likely because I’m never satisfied with where I am. I know, it’s a character flaw, but that’s beside the point. The point is, I’ve been to a lot of interviews.

So, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned along the way. There are a lot of things one must remember about “proper interviewing.” Some seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised. Some things seem silly or down-right stupid. But take it from someone who’s been there… a lot: You can never be too careful. You can never be too prepared. And you can ALWAYS screw up. Here are a few tips to help make sure that doesn’t happen (in no particular order)…

  1. Wear a suit.
  2. Polish your shoes.
  3. No facial hair (that goes for girls too… Yikes!)
  4. Bring an updated resume.
  5. Confidence. It doesn’t matter if you know what you’re talking about. If you act like you know, they will more-than-likely think you do.
  6. Don’t talk too much.
  7. Don’t just answer “yes” or “no.” Expound on your answers (but remember #6).
  8. Don’t chew gum.
  9. … but don’t have bad breath.
  10. Look the interviewer in the eye.
  11. Go to the bathroom before the interview.
  12. Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom before the interview.
  13. Give a firm handshake. There’s not a whole lot worse than a “dead fish.”
  14. If the interviewer gives YOU the “dead fish,” walk away. You don’t want to work for this guy.
  15. Sit-up straight.
  16. Don’t cross your arms.
  17. Wear comfortable underwear. The only thing worse than giving the “dead fish” is squirming around like there’s a mosquito bite on your butt.
  18. Try not to yawn when your prospective boss is telling you about his company. They seem to not like this.
  19. Research the company before your interview.
  20. Know why you want to work for them. “Because I hate my current job,” usually isn’t the best answer.
  21. If you burp or accidentally pass gas during the interview, don’t laugh and say, “Hey! Good one, huh?” or “where’d that come from?” or “… Must be the ‘Fruit n’ Fiber’ kicking in.” They might not think it’s as funny as you do.
  22. Conduct a “mock interview” with yourself the night before.
  23. Convince YOURSELF that you are the best candidate for the position.
  24. Wear matching socks.
  25. Guys: make sure you wear a belt.
  26. Girls: make sure your slip or bra strap is appropriately “tucked.”
  27. Don’t take your pet to the interview… Even if “Sissy gets lonely at home all by herself.”
  28. Smile.
  29. … but not too much. He or she might think you’re crazy.
  30. Never cry in an interview. Even if the interviewer asks about your girlfriend, and that psycho-freak show- witch just left you the night before because you’re “not sensitive to her needs” and “you hang out with your friends more than with her…” (sorry)
  31. Never talk bad about a previous employer.
  32. Arrive at least 15-minutes early for your interview.
  33. Get a good night’s sleep the night before your interview.
  34. Eat a big breakfast the day of your interview. That talk about “breakfast is the most important meal of your day” is true.
  35. If asked to name the three people you most respect, living or dead, please don’t include “Hitler.”
  36. When he or she asks, “How much money are you looking to make?” Don’t answer with, “How much you got?”
  37. Always tell the truth… No matter what.
  38. Don’t tell the interviewer what you think they want to hear. You may be wrong.
  39. Laugh at their jokes.
  40. If you have been fired from a job because you were never on time, you always left early, your production was less than adequate and you called your boss a raging alcoholic wife-beater… it’s probably not a good idea to list him as a reference.
  41. Try not to say “um” a lot.
  42. Never say “I think.” Show your confidence by saying, “I know…” or “I believe…”
  43. ALWAYS write a “thank you” note after your interview.
  44. Don’t be cocky.
  45. Don’t suck up to your interviewer. You may casually compliment his tie or her skirt, but never say something like, “May I just say that you are a stunningly handsome man?” Especially if even he knows that’s not true.
  46. Don’t ramble. Stay relevant to the conversation.
  47. Carry a handkerchief. Chances are you are going to sweat and you don’t want to have to wipe off with your bare hand.
  48. Wear deodorant, but don’t wear cologne. The interviewer might not like the way you smell.
  49. Remember: the average person will make 9 career changes in his or her lifetime. In the “Big Picture,” this doesn’t mean a whole lot. …and finally…
  50. This interview means EVERYTHING. Don’t screw it up!

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