Matching Great Job Seekers with Leading Employers
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3001 Zelda Road, Suite 100
Montgomery, Alabama 36106

Tips For A Successful Interview

Research the company and interviewer.
Visit the company’s website.  Google the company. Review the company Facebook page.  Google the interviewer’s name.  You should know what the company does and something about the interviwer. . Learn as much as you can about the company’s mission, objectives, goals, and future plans. Be ready to support past career accomplishments with specific information targeted toward the companies needs.

Prepare for Questions.
Check out our Common Interview Questions and be prepared to answer them. Write down answers if it helps to make your presentation more concise. Try to keep your answers to the information your new employer will want to know.

Be on time.
There is no excuse for being late. Blaming it on traffic or anything else doesn’t matter (even if it’s true). Be sure to have directions printed out so you know where you are going ahead of time to prevent any tardiness.

Make a good first impression.
You should go to the interview alone – no children or friends. Be sure to be friendly with the receptoinist and anyone else you encounter.  I know of interviewers who discuss the applicant’s behavior when he or she was in the lobby with the receptionists. Greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake.

Cell phone off.
This seems like common sense, but double and triple check that your phone is on silent before entering the interview so there are no distractions.

Dress for success.
Make sure you go into a job interview having showered and wearing clean clothes. Your clothes should be wrinkle free and conservative.  If you are interviewing for an industrial/warehouse type job, wear at least khakis and nice shirt (or similar for women).  If you are interviewing for an office/professional job, dress for what you expect to wear at work or more dressy.  It’s much worse to be underdressed than overdressed. If you like wearing cologne or perfume, don’t wear any on the day of the interview. Limit jewelry to the basics.

Be prepared.
Even though your interviewer will most likely have a copy of your resume, be sure to bring along some extra copies just in case, as well as printed-out references and a notepad and pen should you want to jot down any notes during the interview. Being prepared shows you are serious about this job.

Be Positive.
In particular, avoid negative comments about past employers. Bad mouthing a previous boss in a job interview is a huge negative. They may have been the worst boss in the world but expressing that in a job interview is a huge mistake. Be upbeat, smile and answer questions positively.

Make good eye contact.
Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Show you want the job with your interest. Staring at the floor, ceiling, or wall when speaking or listening makes you appear disinterested. Again, simple and obvious but happens way more then you’d think.

Be Adaptable and Relatable.
Listen and adapt. Be sensitive to the style of the interviewer. Pay attention to those details of dress, office furniture, and general decor which will afford helpful clues to assist you in tailoring your presentation. Try to relate your answers to the interviewer and his or her company. Focus on achievements relevant to the position. 

Ask Questions.
At the end of the job interview make sure you have some questions to ask. If the interviewer doesn’t offer you a chance, ask to ask. Again, it reinforces your strong interest in the job. See here for a list of questions to ask.

Say Thank You.
Thank the interviewer for his or her time and request a business card. Shake hands in closing. Two or three days after the interview send a thank you note addressed to the interviewers.

Thank You Notes
After your interview, be sure to write a thank you note to the employer or interviewer. This is very important because a thank you note gives you one more chance to remind the employer about the special skills that you can bring to the company.

It is a good idea to request the interviewer’s business card before leaving the interview. This will help when writing your thank you note to correctly spell the interviewer’s name and job title.

Tips for Thank You Notes:
Neatly hand write or type the note.

  1. Address the note to the interviewer or the lead interviewer.
  2. Keep it short.
  3. Content: Thank the employer for the interview. Express that you are interested in the position. Briefly state a few of your skills without repeating the information on your résumé word for word. Provide your contact information and that you hope to hear from them soon.
  4. Sign the note with your first and last name.
  5. Proofread the note to check for spelling or grammar errors. Ask another person to proofread the note.
  6. Mail the note within two to three days after your interview.

Top Reasons Why People Don’t Get Hired:

  • Dressed inappropriately.
  • Lack of interview preparation.
  • Inability to express information clearly.
  • Inconsistent answers.
  • Lack of truthfullness discovered or percived during the interview or thru reference checks.
  • Lack of genuine interest or enthusiasm.
  • Unwillingness to start at the bottom.
  • Negative attitude or negative talk of previous employers.
  • Lack of eye contact.
  • Incomplete or sloppy application
  • Being late for the interview
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