15 INTERVIEW TIPS
1. Be timely. Show up at your scheduled interview on time, or even a few minutes early, to give yourself a cushion in case you run into delays. Be timely in giving an answer to a job offer. The longer you wait, the more likely your potential employer could give up on hearing an acceptance.
2. Be courteous. An employer will have a better first impression of you if you are polite, attentive, and prepared.
3. Be professional. Your dress, they way you talk, your manner all reflect who you are. This is especially important in the first impression the employer sees. A good rule of thumb is: Wear something slightly nicer than you would on your first day of work.
4. Do ask questions that are of interest or concern. You may want to ask the interviewer what a typical day’s caseload involves, or what the work schedule is for the position you want.
5. Prepare ahead of time for the interview. Research the company website and learn all you can before your interview.
6. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Ask yourself: If I were that person, would I hire me? What advantages do you offer? What might you lack? If it is experience in a special field, for example, think of ways you can compensate. Maybe you have done related volunteer work, or have a special knack. If met with an obstacle, you will be more prepared.
7. No bad-mouthing anyone, period. It usually backfires, and always will leave the employer wondering if you might ever do that to them. Don’t burn bridges—You may come back to a company sometime even if there is not a job match now.
8. Have your pertinent licensure and work eligibility proof with you. Take a cover letter with your professional resume, if that paperwork has not already been sent by your recruiter. You can carry it in a professional folder or case.
9. Take at least three (or more) professional reference names with contact numbers available at the time of the interview, in case you may be asked about them that day. Be sure to ask the person’s permission to be added to your reference list.
10. Keep focused on this company. Don’t mention other job offers or companies. Be careful if asked about them by your employer. The less said on this, the better.
11. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to interviews! Instead of too many interviews, research companies, then maybe do some telephone interviews first. Phone interviews can be especially helpful if distance travel is involved. Narrow your favorite (s) to your top choice (s) for direct interviews.
12. If currently employed, protect your confidentiality! Do feel free to guide an interview, such as when you want your references to be contacted. Usually there is flexibility in the timing for that, pending job offer or acceptance.
13. Always wait until offered a job before bringing up salary, benefits, and pertinent questions that concern you. You may need to talk about hours, company policies, CEU’s, and other details earlier, but save the money talk for offer time. Your recruiter or department director may be negotiating a higher offer for you than you would have asked for!
14. Attend the interview alone—no exceptions! You want to present your image as the confident and independent professional that you are.
15. Last, but not least, try not to stress too much! Job-hunting can be exhausting, but you can enjoy meeting new professionals and learning about new companies!
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