The interview is your opportunity to show that you are the right candidate for the job, and for you to assess if this is the right position and environment for you.
Before the Interview
- Research the company. Know the company's literature, values, mission, products, and services provided.
- Find out the date, time, and location on interview. Plan to arrive early.
- Review the position and required skills. Prepare answers to common questions. See Interview Question Database from Quintessential Careers and Most Common Interview Questions and Why Employers Are Asking Them.
- Ask if you need to prepare anything or bring anything specific with you. Gather all necessary documents such as a copy of your resume, job positing, pen and paper.
- Prepare questions to ask. A list of possible questions to ask the interviewer can be found at Quintessential Careers: Questions You Can Ask at the Job Interview and CareerBuilder.com: The Best Questions to Ask in the Interview.
- Select and prepare appropriate attire. Avoid perfume or cologne, and smoking. Examples of appropriate attire are available at Quint Careers. Are you in need of Interview Clothing? Get nearly-new, FREE clothing donated by the Seneca community.
- Book a mock interview with your Career Development Coordinator or ask a friend or family member to record you responding to interview questions so that you can check your facial expression, tone of voice and body language.
Contact References: Have at least 2-3 professional references and bring it with you to the interview. Be sure to contact them to ask permission. Requesting reference and recommendation letters.
During the Interview
- Be on time: Plan to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early. Anticipate traffic, weather conditions, as well as distance.
- Introductions - First Impressions: Be polite and professional with everyone you meet. Smile and wait to be seated. Show Confidence.
- Greetings: Be prepared to shake hands with the interviewer(s). Smiling and using a firm grip shows confidence.
- Body language/Non-verbal communication: Make eye contact when speaking or listening, sit up straight and smile. Avoid slouching, fidgeting, chewing gum or other nervous habits.
- Communicate effectively: Speak clearly and avoid slang and words such as "um" and "like." Be positive. Pause briefly to compose your answer, you may ask for the question to be repeated.
- Sell yourself: Explain how you can add value, referring to your experience. Quantify your examples by including amounts, dollars, time frames, or percentages.
- Avoid making negative comments about previous employers and positions.
- Close the interview: Ask questions - take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate your sincere interest in learning more about the company and/or the position. Provide a copy of your references if required. Thank interviewer for their time and obtain business card(s). Confirm next steps.
After the Interview
- Send a thank you email to each interviewee within 1-2 business days and reaffirm your interest in the position. It can reinforce your suitability for the position, allow you to mention any afterthoughts or clarify any miscommunications about your qualifications. You can also consider sending a thank you letter to key employers you spoke with at Job/Career Fairs, informational interviews or company site visits.
- Review your performance. What went well? What areas can I improve?
- Write down questions you were asked and your answers. These can help you further prepare in the future.