The interview is the most important step to getting a job offer. It's also the most stressful job search activity. Here are some useful tips for preparing for a job interview:

  1. Develop a 30-second pitch on why someone should hire you.

  2. Review your resume and be prepared to discuss everything that appears on it - no ifs, ands, or buts.

  3. Practice developing positive answers to frequently asked interview questions - stand in front of a mirror and record your answers.

  4. Prepare positive answers to any objections to your background, experience, and skills.

  5. Identify at least 10 questions you want to ask the interviewer.

  6. Select an appropriate interview wardrobe - neat, clean, and suitable for the employer and company.

  7. Confirm the time and place of the interview and arrive at the site five to 10 minutes early.

  8. Treat everyone you meet, including receptionists, with enthusiasm and respect - everyone may be interviewing you!

  9. Prepare for different types of interviews - one-on-one, sequential, serial, panel, group, behavioral, examination/text, and situational.

  10. Be prepared to tactfully deal with illegal questions.

  11. Know how to communicate both verbally and nonverbally.

  12. Greet the interviewer properly – with a firm handshake and smile.

  13. Communicate positive behaviors during the first five minutes.

  14. Let the interviewer initiate the openers.

  15. Answer questions with complete sentences and with substance.

  16. Close the interview properly by summarizing your understanding, scheduling a second interview, or asking for the job.

  17. Delay salary discussions until you’ve received a job offer.


SOURCE: Adapted from Ron Krannich, Ph.D., The Re-Entry Employment and Life Skills Pocket Guide (Manassas Park: Impact Publications), page 33. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Copying strictly forbidden.