Job Seeking Skills
Employers are interested in "matching" the best job candidate(s) to their available position(s). Knowing the likes and dislikes of current or previous work experiences will help better prepare you for future interviews.
The vehicle for perfecting your interview lies within self-assessment. Be prepared to discuss in an interview the reasons why you liked or disliked performing the job duties from current or previous work experiences.
To do this, determine your likes and dislikes in relation to previous work or volunteer experiences. Start off by making a list of your job duties/skills and rank them according to their importance.
Next, write down two or more reasons why you liked or disliked performing those job duties. After you have compiled your thoughts and made a list, it should look something like this:
General Interviewing Tips
Always arrive for an interview 5 to 10 minutes earlier than scheduled, but you should never exceed 15 minutes. Arriving late will not leave a good impression. If for some reason you find that you will be late for an interview, call the employer to let him or her know. Conversely, arriving too early can distract employees of the organization.
Be prepared. Bring extra copies of your resume, references, pen, and paper. You can distribute your extra copies if there are more interviewers present during the interview.
Use the pen to write down important follow-up information such as a number to call to find out if you have made it to the final interview stage. It is embarrassing having to ask the interviewer for either a pen or piece of paper.
Do not smoke for at least one hour before and never smoke during a job interview. Avoid alcoholic beverages even if interviewing in a casual environment and the employer offers you one.
Introduce yourself to the interviewer and extend your hand for a handshake. Whether you are interviewing with a male or a female, always give a firm handshake.
Never slouch; sit straight with your feet flat on the ground or legs crossed. Avoid frequent movement of your legs such as your feet bouncing off the ground. Do not sit on your hands or cover your mouth when talking. Keep your hands flat on the arms of the chair or in your lap.
Remember that you are interviewing the employer as well. From the moment you walk into the organization, you should observe the work environment.
Do the employees appear happy and friendly or are they frowning and sad? Does the work environment appear to be neat and clean or is it dirty?
Focusing on interviewing the interviewer and assessing the work environment will help ease your nerves.
Right after the job interview, write down the types of questions you were asked and your responses to those questions. This will be a helpful tool that can be used in preparing for future interviews.
Send a thank-you note immediately after you have interviewed. Thank the employer for his/her time and reemphasize job skills that were discussed during the interview.
Dressing for Success
The interviewer's first impression of you can either make or break you in a job interview. That is why it is important to dress appropriately when interviewing for a job.
If you are uncomfortable wearing business attire, try dressing in a suit and go to a mall or some other public place until you are comfortable with dressing that way.
You should dress according to the industry for which you are interviewing. A residential carpenter, for example, should wear attire appropriate to that field since most interviews will take place on the job site.
You also should adhere to proper grooming such as bathing, clipping and filing fingernails, combing hair, teeth brushing, and removal of excessive jewelry to include nose or tongue piercing.
Wear very little or no perfume/cologne and do not smoke, at least one hour before an interview. Many interviewers find cologne and cigarette smoke offensive, or may even be allergic to it!
Professional business attire is strongly encouraged when interviewing for a professional job.
Men should wear:
A conservative, color-coordinated suit (navy, neutral or black)
Long sleeve shirt
Tie, belt and watch
Well-polished shoes (preferably, black or brown).
Women should wear:
A conservative, color-coordinated jacket and skirt or pants (navy, neutral or black) with length of the skirt falling just below the knees
Low (1" to 2") conservative color pumps
Make-up applied conservatively and no excessive jewelry
Avoid bangle bracelets. The noise of the bracelets may distract from the interview.
Some interviews may be conducted over a sporting event, restaurant meal or some other casual environment. The attire will normally depend upon the environment for which the interview takes place.
Men should always avoid wearing shorts or women, mini-skirts. Men can wear navy or neutral color slacks with either a golf shirt or button-down shirt, tie and jacket. Women should wear a skirt, navy or neutral colored, or slacks.