Know How to Interview

As you search for a job, your networking contacts will help you to find job leads. These job leads will turn into interviews. Are you prepared to turn those interviews into job offers?

Interview Tips
Setting Up Job Interviews
  • If you are initiating the call, think about what you are going to say before you pick up the phone to call an employer.
  • If the employer calls you make sure you are in a room without distractions or noises.
  • You want the employer to think of you as a good future employee.  
Prepare for an Interview
  • Arrive 10 minutes early. You might need to fill out paperwork before the interview.
  • Go by yourself. If a friend or relative drives you, have them wait in the car.
  • Dress professionally. Wear an outfit that is professional looking, or that fits the job for which you are interviewing.
  • Bring your sense of humor and smile.
What to Bring to an Interview
  • Extra copies of your resume, your reference list, and examples of your work.
  • Papers needed to complete your application. This includes copies of work licenses, your driving record (if required), and your social security or immigration cards.
  • Questions to ask during the interview.  
During the Interview
  • Display confidence. Shake hands firmly.
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Let the interviewer start the conversation.
  • Listen carefully. Give honest, direct answers.
  • Accept all questions with a smile, even the hard ones.
  • Think about your answers in your head before you talk. If you don't understand a question, ask to hear it again or for it to be reworded. You don't have to rush, but you don't want to appear indecisive. 

Grooming tips for an interview and networking

Your ability to do the job well isn’t the only quality employers are looking for; they also need to make sure you will dress appropriately for the job. The key to dressing for an interview is to become familiar with the dress code of the company and dress one level above that. Wearing jeans, t-shirts, or provocative clothing is never acceptable for an interview or networking.

Grooming for Women Grooming for Men Interview Grooming Checklist
Clean and styled hair Be clean shaven or at least
neatly trimmed
Neat clothes without patches,
tears, stains, etc.
Wear discrete, sparing makeup Have freshly washed trimmed hair Clean teeth and fresh breath
Do not wear perfume Wear a conservative tie Cleaned and trimmed finger nails
Wear conservative and small jewelry items (if any) Wear a white or blue button-down long sleeved shirt Clean dress shoes, no hats
Wear conservative clothing Don't wear jewelry except a watch, or wedding ring No clothes with words on them


Reasons Why People Don't Get Hired After an Interview
  • Application form or resume is incomplete or sloppy
  • Arriving late for the interview
  • Didn’t ask questions about the job
  • Failure to express appreciation for interviewer's time
  • Lack of interest and enthusiasm
  • Lack of maturity
  • Lack of planning for career; no purpose and no goals
  • Negative attitude about past employers
  • Nervousness or lack of confidence and poise
  • No genuine interest in the company or job
  • Overemphasis on money (i.e. asking for salary expectations during the first interview)
  • Overly aggressive behavior
  • Poor personal appearance
  • Responding vaguely to questions
  • Unwillingness to accept entry-level position
  • Failure to follow up and send a thank you note

Follow-up after the interview

The job interview is not over when you leave the meeting. You have one more chance to impress the employer. Follow up the interview with a thank-you letter.

Send a thank-you letter or note to each person who interviewed you. Your letter should have these main ideas:

  • Thank them for their time.
  • Say you are interested in working for them.
  • Briefly say why you are qualified for the job.
  • Give any information that you forgot to say in the interview.
  • Add a final "thank you" for the chance to interview.
  • Say how you plan to follow up.

If you told the interviewers that you would give them added information, make sure that you do. Keep track of when you said you would contact this employer to find out if you were hired. Don't forget to make that contact.

Interviewing Resources

NJCAN Interviews
iSeek Interviews
Quint Careers: Interviews

Manage Your Career Create A Plan & Set Goals Expand Skills Explore Careers Assess Yourself Find A Job