Job Interviews 101: The basics


The interview can be a terrifying experience, but if you follow a few simple strategies you can achieve a professional and memorable interview that get you the job you want!

Be prepared and ask questions

Bring a copy of your resumé with you. Practice answering common interview questions. Even practice your handshake!

Being prepared allows you to relax a little and answer questions more clearly and effectively. If you practice an answer beforehand you will be less likely to trip over your words and more likely to give a better response.

It is also important to ask questions during and at the end of the interview. It shows that you are interested in learning about the company and the specifics of the job. Asking questions also shows the employer confidence and enthusiasm.

Know the company

Employers are looking for individuals who know what the company is about. By doing your research and showing off your knowledge of the company, the employer will see that you are passionate and excited about the job.

When you are aware of the company, what they do, their policies and even some history, the employer will know you are really keen on getting the job. Showing enthusiasm is a great way of getting a job.

Dress to impress

In order to be taken seriously in an interview you have to arrive completely prepared. That includes physical appearance.

An interviewee should dress one step above what would be appropriate to wear to a day on the job. For example, if the dress code for the job is business casual, then professional business attire would be the way to go. And if the job is casual, then a business casual style would be appropriate.

Statistics have shown that the first things employers look at are nails, teeth and shoes. In a perfect world, personality and suitability for the job would be the first factors to be evaluated … but we don’t live in a perfect world. In order to start off an interview on the right foot it is important you are clean and well groomed.

Brag a little

It’s okay to be proud of your achievements. If you think that you have the qualifications for the job then let the employer know. A lot of people feel awkward about talking about themselves in a positive way, but when in an interview it is important to talk about your strengths.

The job interview is a conversation and your goal is to persuade the employer that you have the skills and qualifications which will allow you to fit comfortably into the organization. Therefore, it is important that you get over the uncomfortable feeling of bragging about yourself and voice the pride you feel for your achievements.

Expect the unexpected

Sometimes employers ask strange questions in order to see how well you can handle yourself in a high pressure situation. Be prepared for the regular questions you expect them to ask, but also don’t be surprised when a question you weren’t expecting is asked.

Some employers ask about recent events in the news and others even ask questions like, “If you had to meet three celebrities either living or dead who would they be?”

When faced with a question such as this, it’s okay to acknowledge it is an unusual question. Just answer the question honestly and with some personality. You don’t need to make up an answer you think the employer wants to hear. Give them your honest answer to show who you are and that you’re able to handle yourself well with anything that comes to you.

EggTo take your interview skills to a whole new level, check out one of Shannon’s other articles: Showing a little personality in the interview can help get you the job