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  Weekly Feature: (November 13, 2005)


Successful Job Interviews
Helen's Weekly Feature



Youíve sent your carefully completed application form, relevant education and work history summary, and enticing resume. Now youíve been invited for a personal interview. Congratulations! Now itís important to prepare well, for this may be your last chance to convince your potential employer that you are the perfect fit for this position.

Here are a few keys for a successful interview.

Research, Rehearse, Relax

Before an interview, it is important to prepare how best to ďsellĒ your strengths to the company or organization.


Learn all you can about the organization or company through its web site, business journals, and reports of recent developments

Learn about:
-its products or services
-its mission, vision, values
-whom it serves
-its customers
-the skills and personal qualities it is looking for
-its reputation
-whether it has been hiring or laying off employees lately
-its expansion plans for services or products
-the types of questions this employer might ask


With a friend, practice answering and asking questions. Practice in front of a mirror, a tape or video recorder to be aware of tone of voice, facial and hand gestures.
Review how your education and experience can fit into the needs and goals of the organization or company.
Practice appropriate answers to questions about your strengths and weaknesses, and your relationships in your last job.
Think about listening to questions very carefully and answering respectfully, politely, sincerely, honestly. (Practice with a friend.)
Be aware of your tone and attitude for both your answers and questions. Be positive and organized. (Donít ramble.)
Be careful that you answer without using slang or coarse language. Always answer in complete sentences.


Get a good nightís sleep, go for a walk, take deep breaths.
Wear appropriate clothing: no shorts, overly tight or skimpy tops, mini skirts, runners or sandals, heavy perfume or deodorant. Women should avoid heavy makeup.
Always arrive for interviews 10-15 minutes early so you know exactly where youíre going, and you have time to take a few more deep breaths.
Greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake.
Maintain eye contact. Donít fidget, donít get defensive, donít chew gum.
Be friendly and show genuine interest in the company and in meeting other employees.
Be yourself. Be someone the company would love to have around on a daily basis.
Be grateful. Send a hand-written or typed thank-you note immediately following the interview. Be sure to use the interviewís name and position.

Good Luck!


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