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Tips for Effective Interviewing

Tips for Effective Interviewing

  • Practice in a mock interview with another person. Check for quality of information in your answers, and the positive, non-verbal reinforcement of your words. By speaking out loud you can "hear" your answers to ensure you cover the topic well.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before your interview.
  • Be punctual. Arrive 15 minutes early to allow yourself time to collect your thoughts. Take the opportunity to observe the working environment. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be friendly with everyone.
  • Try to get the interviewer to describe the position and duties to you early in the interview so that you can relate your background and skills to the particular position.
  • Give examples or proof whenever you can throughout the interview. The true stories you tell about yourself will differentiate you from the other applicants.
  • Watch the interviewer for clues on how the interview is progressing. Is the interviewer's face or body language telling you that your answers are too long, not detailed enough, too boring, etc.?
  • If the interviewer becomes silent, look for the reason. Has the person momentarily run out of questions? Is the person testing you to see how comfortable you are with silence? Is the interviewer finding your answers too brief and waiting for you to elaborate more in order to get a better sense of who you are?
  • When the interviewer asks about your weaknesses, choose something work-related, but not so serious as to disqualify you. Briefly mention one weakness, and then show what you have learned from the experience or what you are doing to change.
  • If you are asked about any negative employment experience (e.g., being fired, trouble with supervisor), don't criticize past employers. Briefly acknowledge any difficulty and say what you have learned or discuss the positive outcome of the situation.
  • Don't inquire about salary, bonuses or benefits in the initial interview. If you are pressed to give a salary expectation, turn it around to the interviewer and ask what the organization would ordinarily pay a person with your credentials. If you are still pressed, rely on your research to estimate the salary range that would apply to the job, industry and geographic location.

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