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The Mountaineer Online

Employment Readiness Program offers tips for successful interview

Chrystie Bockus

Employment Readiness Program Educator

Congratulations, you landed the job interview! What’s next? It’s time to prepare for the interview.

Following are five tips that can help you successfully land the job.


Research the company

To fully know your audience, you need to research them.

Seek answers to questions such as the following: What is the organization’s mission statement? What kind of product do they make? What clientele do they serve? What type of employee are they looking for?

Take a few minutes to check out the company website, view the “about us” page, and see what else they have posted about your job description. This will prepare you to answer questions about the company and help you reference your work experience and skills that benefit the company, the employees and their clientele.


Dress the part

Dressing professionally will give you confidence and show the hiring official(s) that you are a professional.

A woman should wear navy, black or charcoal skirt or slacks with a matching blazer, and closed-toed flats or pumps in a solid color. Avoid too much perfume, and wear a smattering of jewelry and makeup. You want them to remember you, not your flashy jewelry or overwhelming smell. You want to look professional without overwhelming the interviewers.

A man should wear a nice suit, button-down shirt and tie. Be sure to wear neutral-color socks. A tie clip is a nice touch if you have one. Light cologne that doesn’t overwhelm the committee also is acceptable.


Smile and have firm handshake

Smiling helps you relax and build a rapport with the hiring official(s). Remember to firmly shake hands with the hiring official(s) when you enter and exit the interview. If your handshake is soft like a limp noodle, the hiring official(s) could interpret that as lack of confidence. If your handshake is too hard, they could see you as overzealous and easily excitable.


Be confident

Be sure to sit tall, with your shoulders back. Make direct eye contact with the hiring official(s) when speaking to them. Try not to fidget by tapping your pen or bouncing your leg. You may use your hands to gesture naturally, but be careful not to overdo it, or you can clasp your hands in front of you on the table. If you have a portfolio, use it by highlighting some of your work when answering a question, indicating where it can be found in your portfolio and then passing it to the hiring official(s) for review.


End on a strong note

From your research, you should have a list of questions to ask the hiring official(s).

Some common questions to ask include the following: What is a typical day like? What type of training will I receive if I get the job? What opportunities for advancement does your organization have? How many employees will I be supervising? When are you looking to fill the position?

Be sure to shake hands with the hiring official(s) before departing. Leave your business card if you have one and send a follow-up email or personal card thanking the hiring official(s) for the interview opportunity.

The Mountaineer



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