Tips for Mastering the Job Interview:

November 28, 2007 at 12:09 am 2 comments

By Jack Farrell

Interviewing is a key part of the hiring process. Here are a couple suggestions that come from direct feedback from hiring managers and from my own personal experience hiring folks for over 20 years. I hope these tips are useful as you prepare for your interview.

1. First impressions are paramount: look professional, jacket and tie for men, professional garb for women.

2. Greet with a firm handshake and a smile.

3. SMILE OFTEN….few other mannerisms will make a more lasting impression.

4. Maintain eye contact as much as possible.

5. Keep your energy up. If you have a long interview, be sure to ask for WATER and stay hydrated.

6. Know the product line as much as possible. Visit the web site, poke around. The more familiar you are with the product and company, the richer your questions will be. Plus, it’s a healthy signal that you are engaged and interested in what lies ahead.

7. Write a follow up Thank You note right after your meeting. It sounds corny, but it’s still impressive. The old fashioned letter is most memorable, but a follow-up email works too.

8. Make sure your resume tells a story. By that, I mean that ALL your past jobs should point toward the job you are interviewing for. Fact is each job you’ve had has given you new skills and facets that make you THE BEST applicant for the job in front of you. You should be comfortable telling that story in the interview. Hiring managers oftentimes want to know “how things fit together” from your past. This exercise helps you convince the hiring mgr of this fit.

9. Have a couple “success stories” at the ready to cite in the interview. These specific examples demonstrate your abilities – in marketing, in sales, in editorial, in management, in IT – and give the hiring manager a more vivid picture of your skills.

10. If you like what you hear in the interview – TELL THE MGR YOU WANT THE JOB. It might seem obvious, but doing this will distinguish you from 90% of other candidates.

11. Don’t feel that you have to discuss salary. When working with a recruiter, that’s the recruiter’s job. On any application you complete (online or hard copy), it’s recommended that you leave salary questions blank. This is confidential information. Applications are sometimes handled very cavalierly and salary information can become public knowledge quickly. Plus, salary is an issue between the hiring manager and the recruiter who represents YOU….you don’t need it documented in an application.

12. Be positive. Never run from one job to “this job.” Instead, have a cogent reason why leaving your current job for this one makes sense in your career progression and in “your story.”

13. Bring an extra copy of your resume with you…just in case.

Lastly, here’s an interesting article from The Ladders on The Seven Deadly Sins of Interviewing, read and heed!:

© 2007 John Hartnett & Jack Farrell


Entry filed under: Getting Hired, Interviewing Tips. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

The Resume: Common Sense Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marylin Warner  |  March 3, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Excellent post.
    I would add one thing to #3. Wide, almost giddy smiles that seem to be for effect can be startling and off putting. Genuine, pleasant smiles are the goal. In one interview, I remember the man had a broad, wide-open smile…and he was chewing gum. It fell out once, but instead of laughing–we all have those awkward moments–he tried to cover it with his right hand and go on. At the end of the interview, there was no hand shaking.


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November 2007


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