When you have successfully mastered cover letters, resumes, and job applications and are receiving requests for interviews, it's time to understand how to succeed in the job interview so that you are ever closer to your goal of obtaining one or more job offers.
This article focuses on the 10 most important -- the 10 best -- job-interviewing tips for job-seekers.
Best Job Interviewing Tips for Job Seekers
1. Conduct Research on the Employer, Hiring Manager, Job Opportunity. Success in a job interview starts with a solid foundation of knowledge on the job seeker's part. You should understand the employer, the requirements of the job, and the background of the person (or people) interviewing you. The more research you conduct, the more you'll understand the employer, and the better you'll be able to answer interview questions (as well as ask insightful questions -- see #8). Information sources include the organization's Website and other published materials, search engines, research tools, and your network of contacts. Learn more about job-search job-interview researching here.
- Job Interview Questions Database
- Sample Behavioral Interview Questions
- Sample Traditional Interview Questions
- STAR Interviewing Technique
- Composing Written Responses to Interview Questions
3. Dress for Success.
There is no excuse for ever arriving late for an interview -- other than some sort of disaster. Strive to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview to complete additional paperwork and allow yourself time to get settled. Arriving a bit early is also a chance to observe the dynamics of the workplace.
The day before the interview, pack up extra copies of your resume or CV and reference list. If you have a portfolio or samples of your work, bring those along too. Finally, remember to pack several pens and a pad of paper to jot notes. Finally, as you get to the offices, shut off your cell phone. (And if you were chewing gum, get rid of it.) For additional tips and advice, read our article, 24-Hour Countdown to the Job Interview.
Finally, as the interview winds down, ask about the next steps in the process and the timetable the employer expects to use to make a decision about the position. If you are applying for a sales job -- or a position requiring equivalent aggressiveness -- consider asking for the job at the end of the interview. See our article, Closing the Sale and Overcoming Objections in Job Interview.
As you have already seen from previous tips, common courtesy and politeness go far in interviewing; thus, the importance of thanking each person who interviews you should come as no surprise. Start the process while at the interview, thanking each person who interviewed you. Writing thank-you emails and notes shortly after the interview will not get you the job offer, but doing so will certainly give you an edge over any of the other finalists who did not bother to send thank-you's. For more tips on writing thank-you notes, read this article: 10 Tips for Writing a Job-Search Interview Thank-You Letter. You can also check out these job interview thank-you letter samples.
Final Thoughts on Job Interview Success
Succeeding in job interviews takes research, practice, and persistence. The more effort you put into your interview preparation, the more success you'll see in obtaining job offers -- especially if you remember and follow these 10 job interviewing tips. Finally, if you are still searching for even more information, resources, tools, and samples related to interviewing, here are a few more key Quintessential Careers tools:
- Interview Questions
- Interview Videos
- The Quintessential Guide to Interview Preparation (free e-book)
- Frequently Asked Questions About Interviews: Comprehensive Job Interviewing FAQ
- The Quintessential Guide to Behavioral Interviewing (free e-book)
- Quintessential Careers Job Interviewing Quiz for Job-Seekers
- Job Interview Tutorial
- Interviewing Prep: Job Interview Checklist
- Job Interviewing Do's and Don'ts
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.