Six Tips for a Successful Job Interview

Know what to expect from a job interview.

By FamilyTime


Whether the interview you have lined up was hard won or came rather easily, you want to do the best you can. The goal is to be offered the job. At that point, you are in the catbird’s seat: You can say yes or no, thank you.

There’s not much new under the sun when it comes to making a good first impression with a potential employer, but the Internet makes some aspects easier. 

Following are six tips for making a superb impression on a potential employer.

  1. Do your research. It used to be that you had to go to the library and look up articles about the company in old newspaper and magazine files. Now, you can log onto its website, read its mission statement and lots more. You can also search for articles about the company and its key players. The more you know about the company, the better. You may not have to work all your knowledge into the interview, but having it is reassuring.
  2. Be on time and dress appropriately. Nothing makes a worse impression than keeping your interviewer waiting. Allow ample time — even it means sitting in the parking lot for 20 minutes before going inside. If you are stuck in a traffic jam or your train breaks down, call immediately to alert the interviewer.
    Dress for the job. Wear a pressed, comfortable suit or similar outfit in dark, muted colors. Avoid lots of jewelry, overdone makeup, flagrant fragrances, and flouncy clothes.
  3. Be prepared to answer questions. Interviewers will ask you all sorts of questions. Be ready for ones such as:
    • Tell me a little about yourself (keep it short)
    • What do you know about our company?
    • Why would you be a good choice for the job?
    • What is your salary history?
    • How would your current (former) colleagues/boss describe you?
    • What are your career goals?
    • What is your management style?
    • Be ready with some questions for the interviewer. This will show him or her that you did your homework and you’re interested in the position. Typical queries might be:
      • Why is this job open?
      • What are the objectives of the position?
      • I understand the company's mission, but which objectives for this job are the most urgent?
      • What kind of support would I get?
      • Is there room for advancement?
    • During the interview, maintain eye contact, use the interviewer’s name, and keep your body language positive. Shake hands firmly, sit up straight and don’t forget to smile! Ask for cards from everyone you meet; jot down pertinent information on the back of each card after you leave the interview.
    • Send thank you notes. As soon as you get home, send notes to the people who interviewed you. Usually a mailed note is best, but for some companies, email is fine, too. Confirm your interest in the job and thank everyone for their time. Use names.

    Interviewing is stressful and time consuming, but the payoff is a great job you enjoy. Good luck!