The employment interview is one of
the most important events in a person's experience, because the
thirty minutes to one hour spent with the interviewer may
determine the entire future course of one's life.
Interviewers are continually
amazed at the number of candidates who come to job interviews
without any apparent preparation and only the vaguest idea of what
they are going to say. Other candidates create an impression of
indifference by acting too casually. At the other extreme, a few
candidates work themselves into such a state of mind that they
seem to be in the last stages of nervous fright.
These marks of inexperience can
be avoided by knowing a little of what is actually expected of you
and by making a few simple preparations before the interview.
The following information,
combined with the guidance provided by your Account Executive will
provide you with in-depth information on how to conduct yourself
during your employer interview.
PREPARING FOR THE
Preparation is the first
essential step toward a successful interview. Thus, it is
1. Know the exact place and time
of the interview, the interviewer's full name, the correct
pronunciation and the interviewer's title.
2. Do some research on the
company interviewing you. It will be helpful to know how old the
company is, what its products or services are, where its plants,
offices or stores are located, what its growth has been and what
its growth potential is for the future. There are a number of
publications which provide information about prospective
employers. Most of them can be found in any college or public
library. A brokerage office or your bank may also be able to
supply you with pertinent information.
3. Prepare the questions you will
ask during the interview. Remember that an interview is a "two-way
street". The employer will try to determine through questioning if
you have the qualifications necessary to do the job. You must
determine through questioning whether the company will give you
the opportunity for the growth and development you seek.
4. Some probing questions you
might ask. . . . (a) A detailed description of the position? (b)
Reason the position is available? (c) Anticipated indoctrination
and training program? (d) Advanced training programs available for
those who demonstrate outstanding ability? (e) Earnings of those
successful people in their third to fifth year? (f) Company growth
plans? (g) The next step in the hiring process?
5. Men should dress in a business
suit (NO SPORT CLOTHES), white or soft pastel shirt, conservative
tie, dark socks, shoes well shined and a neat haircut.. Women
should dress very tailored and conservative (NO PANTSUITS).
You are being interviewed because
the employer wants to hire people-not because he wants to trip you
up or embarrass you. Through the interaction which will take place
during the interview the employer will be searching out your
strong and weak points, evaluating you on your qualifications,
skills and intellectual qualities, and the employer will probably
probe deeply to determine your attitudes, aptitudes, stability,
motivation and maturity.
Some "do's" and "don'ts"
concerning the interview:
1. DO plan to arrive on time or a
few minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never
2. If the employer presents you
with an application to complete, DO fill it out neatly and
completely. DON'T relax and rely on your application or resume to
do your selling for you. Most employers will want you to speak for
3. DO greet the employer by his
surname if you are sure of the pronunciation. If you are not, ask
him to repeat his name. Give the appearance of energy as you walk.
Smile! Shake his hand firmly. Be genuinely glad to meet the
employer and the prospects are excellent you'll find him an
4. DO wait until you are offered
a chair before sitting. Sit upright in your chair. Look alert and
interested at all times. Be a good listener as well as a good
5. DON'T smoke even if the
employer smokes and offers you a cigarette. DON'T chew gum.
6. DO look a prospective employer
in the eye while you talk to him.
7. DO follow the employer's
leads, but try to get the employer to describe the position and
the duties to you early in the interview so that you can relate
your background, skills and accomplishments to the position.
8. DON'T answer questions with a
simple "yes" or "no". Explain wherever possible. Tell those things
about yourself which relate to the situation.
9. DO make sure that your good
points get across to the interviewer in a factual, logical,
sincere manner. Stress achievements. For example: sales records,
processes developed, savings achieved, systems installed, etc.
10. DON'T lie. Answer questions
truthfully, frankly and as "to the point" as possible.
11. DON'T ever make derogatory
remarks about your present or former employers or companies.
12. DON'T "over answer"
questions. The interviewer may steer the conversation into
politics or economics. Since this is a ticklish situation it is
best to answer the questions honestly, trying not to say any more
than is necessary.
13. DON'T inquire about SALARY,
VACATIONS, BONUSES, RETIREMENT, etc. on the initial interview
unless you are positive the employer is interested in hiring you.
If the interviewer asks what salary you want, indicate what you've
earned but that you're more interested in opportunity than in a
specific salary amount at the present.
14. DO always conduct yourself as
if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Never
close the door on an opportunity. It is better to be in a position
where you can choose from a number of positions--rather than only
BE PREPARED TO ANSWER
QUESTIONS LIKE . . .
1. Why did you choose this
2. Why did you think you might like to work for our company?
3. What do you know about our company?
4. What qualifications do you have that make you feel that you
will be successful in your field?
5. What do you think determines a person's progress in a good
6. Can you get recommendations from previous employers?
7. What contributions to profits have you made in your present or
former position to justify your salary level there?
8. Can you take instructions without feeling upset?
9. What is your major weakness?
10. Are you willing to relocate?
11. How do you spend your spare time? What are your hobbies?
12. What type of books do you read? How many books per year?
13. Have you saved any money? Do you have any debts?
14. What job in our company do you want to work toward?
15. What jobs have you enjoyed the most? The least? Why?
16. What are your own special abilities?
17. What types of people seem to rub you the wrong way?
18. Define cooperation.
19. Do you like regular hours?
20. What have you done which shows initiative and willingness to
EVALUATED BY AN EMPLOYER
During the course of the
interview, the employer will be evaluating your negative factors
as well as your positive factors. Listed below are negative
factors frequently evaluated during the course of the interview
and those which most often lead to the rejection of the candidate.
1. Poor personal appearance.
2. Overbearing--overaggressive--conceited "superiority
3. Inability to express thoughts clearly--poor poise, diction, or
4. Lack of planning for career--no purpose or goals.
5. Lack of interest and enthusiasm--passive and indifferent.
6. Lack of confidence and poise--nervousness.
7. Overemphasis on money--interested only in the best dollar
8. Evasive--makes excuses for unfavorable factors in record.
9. Lack of tack--maturity--courtesy.
10. Condemnation of past employers.
Important! - 11. Failure to look employer in the eye.
12. Limp, fishy handshake.
13. Lack of appreciation of the value of experience.
14. Failure to ask questions about the job.
15. Persistent attitude of "What can you do for me?"
16. Lack of preparation for the interview--failure to get
information about the company resulting in inability to ask
CLOSING THE INTERVIEW FOR
THE JOB OFFER
1. If you are interested in the
position, ask for it, or ask for the next interview if the
situation demands. If you feel the job is worth your efforts and
you want to receive an offer, be a good sales person and say
something like this: "Mr. Employer, I'm very impressed with
your company, its products, and the people I've met. I am
confident I could do an excellent job in the position you have
described to me. How soon will I be able to start?" The
employer will be impressed with your enthusiasm. If the employer
makes the offer then, accept it if you're ready, but you don't
have to accept it on the spot.
2. Don't be too discouraged if no
definite offer is made or specific salary is discussed. The
employer will probably want to communicate with his office first,
or interview more candidates, before making a decision.
3. If you get the impression that
the interview is not going well and that you have already been
rejected, don't let your discouragement show. Once in a while an
employer who is genuinely interested in your possibilities may
seem to discourage you in order to test your reaction.
4. Thank the employer for his
time and his consideration of you. If you have answered the two
questions uppermost in the employer's mind: (a) Why are you
interested in his company? and (b) What can you offer? - you have
done all you can.
5. If you are interested enough
in the position to want an offer, right after the interview write
the employer a letter expressing your thanks for the interview and
expressing an interest in the company. Restate briefly why you
think you can make an exceptionally strong contribution on the
Last and most important,
if you are working with a recruiting firm, call your recruiter immediately after each interview and