9 Tips for a Successful Interview

Top 10 interview must-dos to set yourself apart from the pack.

By Maymuna Abdi, staff writer

Whether you’re extroverted or introverted, interviews are always difficult. You never know if you’ll be suddenly tongue-tied, or surprised with a question for which you have no answer.

In today’s competitive job market, employers have high expectations, and it’s often difficult to even make it to the interview stage. This problem is common among Gen Y folks, since they are generally recent graduates with little interview experience who grapple with the transition between the school and the professional world. Honing your interview skills will give you a leg up on the competition.

Here are some tips on how to successfully present yourself in an interview:

   1. Research: Find out about the company’s products, services, annual sales, structure, and other key information from any source available (internet, library, magazines, former employees, etc.). Show your interest by demonstrating knowledge about the company.

   2.Prepare: Practice really does make perfect. Rehearse your responses to possible scenarios and questions so you don’t get caught off guard.

   3. Be on time: This is the employer’s first meeting with you; so don’t brand yourself as tardy or unprofessional by showing up late. If being late is unavoidable, call ahead!

   4. Dress professionally: First appearances are extremely significant. Appropriate clothing gives the impression that you are professional, and serious about the job.

   5. Demonstrate your skills: This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Discuss your qualifications and why you are the right candidate. Emphasize your ability to work well with others and your willingness to respect company policies. Point out what you can bring to the company.

   6. Be confident: Make eye contact. Try not to ramble or fidget. The interviewer will pick up on your confident body language.

   7. Ask questions: Ask specific questions about the job and the company. This demonstrates that you have a keen interest in the position.

   8. Be enthusiastic:  Employers like their employees to have a passion for their jobs, so bring a positive outlook to the interview.

   9. Follow up: Send a thank you email to the interviewer(s), and reiterate you interest in the position. This will always set you apart from your competition, since most candidates don’t do this.

Master these ten great tips and you’re sure to get ahead. Good luck!


Image Courtesy of Victor1558 via Flickr.


Show more