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Job Interview Hints and Tips – The Interview

Friday, February 11, 2011
Job interview hints and tips can help you prepare for that all important meeting. Preparation before and on the day of the job interview is a key part of the job placement process.

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

During the interview

The function of the interview is simply to determine if you have the skill set to perform the job and the personality to fit with the company culture.

The interviewer may be a highly trained professional who will ask probing and insightful questions or someone who has never received any training or guidelines in interview techniques.

Interviews can take five minutes or two hours. The length of the interview does not necessarily reflect the interest in your application, it may be more indicative of the personal style of the interviewer. Type A personalities prefer short, straight to the point meetings, administrators tend to have longer meetings.

Golden Interview Tip 1: listen to the question and answer the question being asked. It’s amazing how many people answer a question they have not been asked.

Golden Interview Tip 2: answer the question and be quiet.

Take control

If the interview starts to wander you can take control to get your point across. This is the ideal time to use you Summary Statement (see: Job Interview Hints and Tips – Before the Interview).

A good way to take control is by saying “let me tell you something about myself” and launch into your rehearsed Summary Statement.

Do not

Talk too much. Let the interviewer interview you unless the interview starts to wander too much.

Do not stare. Eye contact is important, but keep it natural and do not look away when answering questions.

Do not fiddle. Keep your hands in your lap and do not play with a pen, pencil or paper clip as it can be very distracting.

Golden Interview Tip: same as above: listen to the question and answer the question being asked. It’s amazing how many people like to answer a question they have not been asked.

Golden Rule 2: answer the question and be quiet.

At the end of the interview

Thank them for the interview and say that you look forward to meeting with them again and ask what the next step will be.

Ask about the time frame for the next meeting and/or a decision.

An interview thank you letter by e-mail is a nice touch.  Extend thanks, outline a couple of your strengths that relate and reinforce your interest in the company and the position. Be sincere, do not flatter and a short e-mail with no attachment will suffice. It’s unlikely it will get more than a cursory look, but it puts your name in front of them again in a professional manner.

Golden Interview Tip: Our final and most important comment in job interview hints and tips is to check the person’s spelling and job title before sending anything. Nothing will blow you out of the water faster than misspelling someone’s name especially after they have interviewed you. Make no assumptions, because the chances are you will be wrong, a simple name like “Ian” can also be spelled: Ion, Iain, Eion or Eoan.

Golden Interview Tip: Do not harass the interviewer. You may call once or send an e-mail to request an update. Any further contact, unless asked to call, can take you off the list.

Remember: You never get a second chance to make that first impression.


- Simon A. Bull

Latest Blog Posts

  1. What we do not want to see on your resume Simon Bull 07-Mar-2015
  2. If only I knew what they wanted to see on my resume Simon Bull 21-Feb-2015
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