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10 Tips for an interview

Updated on September 2, 2010

Show Up a few minutes before to get the lay of the land!

Interviews today are far and few between, so when you finally do get that phone call, you want to do your best to get that job.  For the purpose of this article we will assume that I am your possible employer and you are the job seeker. 

Always make sure you are on time for your interview, I am a busy person and I will not tolerate waiting for you to show up!  If you show up 10 minutes early that will be noted, you can take that time to let your eyes wander, to see what is going on around you. 

As a former Manager of a retail store, I can tell you a few things that I liked and also a few things that would get you a ‘Thank You for coming’ as I put your application to the bottom.


Dress properly

1. Proper Dress - No matter what the job is, when going for an interview, you should be dressed your absolute best.  You want to make the best impression that you can.  Your clothes should be clean and free from wrinkles.  They also should be pulled up to cover the body parts.  If you want to ‘sag’ on your own time so be it, I do not wish to see the color of your underwear.  Your shoes should also be considered, wearing tennis shoes is not going to impress me.

Keep clean!

2. Cleanliness - Throwing some clean clothes over a dirty body is going to make me wonder what other nasties you may be hiding. 


Hair

3.  Hair- Your hair should be well groomed, if you’re a man, your facial hair should be trimmed or as it is called today, ‘man-scaping’.  It will show to me that you have care for your appearance.  For a woman, those cute little ‘fresh out of bed’ hair styles are not going to impress me.   If you want to wear your hair messy at home or when going out that is fine, but for an interview it is not proper.  Your make-up should be appropriate, if you choose to wear any.  I’d rather see no make-up than too much.

Greeting

4. Greeting- I would like to be greeted properly, “Hi, My name is (insert name here), I have an (insert time here) appointment for an interview.” All this while reaching out to shake my hand and smiling. I want to see if you are friendly, if you will be working with people this will be important. Do not grab my hand like it you are drowning and I am the lifeboat, I do not want my fingers to be broken. I also want a firm handshake, I do not want to feel as though I am shaking a limp noodle. This tool is used for women as well as men, handshakes show me confidence.

I will be prepared for you and have your application at the ready.  If you have a Resume`, that will impress me more.  It means that you have taken the time to prepare for me.


Etiquette

5.  Etiquette - DO NOT sit down until I ask you to.  I will say to you “Please have a seat” shortly, but should you plop down in a chair and make yourself comfortable before I ask you to, this will make me un-happy.  It is telling me that you are going to do as you wish on the job and what I have to say will not matter.  When you do sit in my chair, after it is offered, please do it gently.  Remember you are not at home, this is my furniture.  Also keep in mind the things on my desk are just that, mine.  Do not touch something that is not yours.  I will not take kindly to you moving my things around

Language

6.  Language - When I ask you a question and a yes or no answer is applicable, I would like a clear answer.  ‘Ya’ or ‘Nah’ is not appropriate, a clear “Yes or No” is what I want to hear.  Your use of the English language is going to be important on the job, therefore you should practice it.  Using words that are fine around your friends is not going to impress me.  I do not want to hear any slang words, and certainly not any swear words.  I will ask you questions where I would like a more detailed answer, and I will pick up on slang wording.  Any word that is shortened to something else will be considered slang.  I need to know if you can carry on a proper conversation

Confidence

7. Confidence - I would like to see a little confidence for whatever job in which you are applying. If you have never done this before, that is fine, I may offer training. But I need to know that you are willing to learn. When speaking to me I do not want to strain to hear your words, speak up (without yelling of course). It is just plain rude for me to have to ask you to repeat yourself, because I didn’t hear what you said the first time. I will speak clearly to you, and should you have the need to say ‘Huh?’ please refrain from doing so. You may ask me “I’m sorry, Could you please repeat that”, but if I have to do it more than once I may get the feeling you aren’t paying attention to what it is that I am saying.

If there is something that I am saying that you do not understand, you may ask me to explain.  But since we are in an Interview, if you aren’t understanding the questions I am asking, I may assume that you aren’t prepared for the job that I have to offer.


Boasting

8.  Boasting - Do not be overly confident.  I do not want to hear of how wonderful you are.  Your stories may make interesting tales to your friends, but I really do not want to hear them, I am a busy person that has set aside time to interview you for a job. 


Cell Phone

9.  Cell phone - If at all possible leave it in your vehicle.  If that is not possible turn it off BEFORE our interview.  If you forget and it should ring - IGNORE it, do not pick it up and shut it off, unless it has an offensive ring tone.  Then pushing the end button will please me, it tells me that you care about what I should or should not hear.  Do not even for one second say “Just a sec, let me get this”.  You may be told, “Of course you have plenty of ‘seconds’, since you don’t have a job.”  If I have to answer the phone during our interview, that of course is perfectly acceptable, I have a job and as such. duties that may need attending.  This will not be your ‘free time’ for wandering, do not talk while I am on the phone.


When to leave

10.  When the interview is over - When I stand up and say “Thank you for coming, I have a few more interviews, then I will be making my decision”.  This is your cue that the interview is over.  Do not ask me at this time “Did I get the job?”  You should at this time stand up as well, reach for my hand in a farewell handshake with a smile and say “Thank you for considering my application, I hope to hear from you soon.”     

What I will do when you leave

After you leave I may speak with those you may have come in contact with, while waiting for our appointed time.  If you were rude or treated others unwell I will know this.  If you were pleasant or friendly with my staff, I will find this out as well. 

You may call in a day or two to 'check up' on your application, this will impress me and assure me that you really want the job.

These are just a few tips that to some may seem mundane, but they will serve you well in making a good impression during that first interview.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Good Luck with the job hunting!


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    • patdmania profile image

      patdmania 6 years ago from waterford, mi

      Luckily, i don't have to interview right now. I hate doing interviews. I always get really nervous, palms are sweaty. Thanks - Good Hub!!!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      I do such good interviews!! Well I give good interviews as well, and I do understand nervousness, that is part of it, and even a little can be beneficial to the job seeker! Why? Because being nervous tells me that you are concerned and I would be seeking someone who is concerned.

      For sweaty palms, keep a tissue tucked somewhere on your person and a second before you walk in, dry your hands, keep your hands open to avoid making them sweat again (at least for a few minutes) to get in that good handshake! Then as you are getting up if your palms are still sweaty, causally rub them on your pant leg to dry them off! Go for that final handshake.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Thank you for sharing. Maybe this will get more people past the Interview and into jobs! Great Hub!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Well since I'm don't see myself looking for a job anytime soon, I thought I would share my 'secrets'... Instead of keeping it to myself, LOL

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Very good interviewing tips, susie. I would also add, be prepared. Do your research beforehand so you know a few facts about the organization or company. It can put you ahead of the rest.

      I found that most folks who read my book, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So," were most interested in the chapters on interviewing and negotiating. That's no surprise. If you don't interview well, you don't get he offer. And if you don't know how to negotiate, you may be selling yourself short.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Hmmm, you got a book on that eh? I'm gonna have to look and see if I can find it on Amazon!! Gonna put it on here! You are SOOOO smart!! (well funny too, but that is a different Hub)

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Aris Budianto profile image

      Aris Budianto 6 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

      I should learn a lot about this, thanks

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Your are most welcome! These are some simple but very important keys that will help anyone going on an interview!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • nms profile image

      nms 6 years ago from Cochin

      Sure ways to crack interview. gr8 tips

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      These are just 10 personal things that interviewers will look at when considering you for a job. The thought behind it is, if they don't care enough to try and impress me, they must not want the job.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    • profile image

      kristinjk 6 years ago

      I have been both interviewed and the one to interview and I agree with everything you have written here with one very big exception: #9 Cell Phone: If I have to answer the phone during our interview, that of course is perfectly acceptable, I have a job and as such. duties that may need attending. I feel, that of course is NOT perfectly acceptable. If the person I am interviewing with is answering the telephone while we are talking that is as rude as me answering the cell phone during our conversation. The duties that need to be attended to are for BOTH parties to have an in-depth coversation about the opportunity and undivided attention. It can be very difficult to pick up a train of thought, or continue a conversation that has been interrupted. If your potential boss will not show you the respect during the interviewing process, then he/she will not show you respect after being hired.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      kristinjk - Yes, after answering a phone call it can be difficult to get back on track, but if you have a 'set' formula for doing the interview it should be fairly easy to get back to the discussion at hand.

      If it were a personal call then yes, I would agree with you, that would be rude. Being the 'person in charge' there are areas in which things will need attending and some of them cannot wait, particularly in my field of retail and customer service. At times jobs will overlap in the working world and in this, you do what you have to. This does not necessarily mean you will be treated rudely after being hired, it might mean your interviewer is a busy person.

      An apology for being interrupted by the one doing interview is perfectly acceptable.

      I am sorry you feel this way, but I still stick to my original comment.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • ldparker10 profile image

      ldparker10 6 years ago

      very interesting and useful hub! Nerve control is the main problem for many people- so mastering that can mean nailing the interview!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, some people have a difficult time with that. To some interviewers this can be a good thing. I know to me if a person was nervous, I felt they were truly interested in the job.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      Artoflegendindia 6 years ago

      Nice hub. i like your hub. your hub is very informative.Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Many people don't know that how to give interview and how to concentration on interview's function.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Having a good interview is tantamount to getting the job, and with so many people looking for jobs these days, anything I can do to help, I will.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • InfoFinder profile image

      InfoFinder 6 years ago

      It seems that so many people are having a very difficult time in finding any type of job these days. This information could certainly help one to land new employment. Thanks.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, this is true. I hope that my tips will help better prepare someone to be 'the one' to get the job.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      ankigarg87 6 years ago

      very nice tips for interview it will help a lot a persons

    • irfan martin profile image

      irfan martin 6 years ago from pakistan

      These points are really helpful.Thanks

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      ankigarg87 and irfan martin - Thanks to you both for reading and taking the time to comment.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great tips to prepare for an interview. Having been on both sides of the table, I can say that boasting is one of my biggest pet peeves! Overly confident/cocky is not a way to impress a future boss or colleague.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Oh yeah!! I know, I get enough of that at my house... wouldn't want it during an interview too!! LOL

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Mrs.Nita profile image

      Mrs.Nita 6 years ago

      I'm waiting to find out if I got this job that I interviewed for just before Labor Day. She informed me that it would take a week or maybe a little longer because they had to do a background check. I waited a week, and once the week went by, I called her on Monday. She said that she still hadn't heard anything, and that they must be waiting on my back ground check or references. I'm trying not to get nervous, and I don't want to call too much. I thought the interview went very well, plus I'm qualified for the job. This is week two. What should I do?

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Mrs. Nita - Congrats on getting the interview! I would give her another call, since the 2nd week has gone by. Inform her that you are just inquiring one way or another. If it's possible that you are looking at another position, you want to give them first consideration.

      Try not to be too disappointed if they happen to have filled the position, and remind them to 'keep you in mind' for the next opening. The reason I say this is if another person is selected and doesn't work out, you may still be called.

      Another Hubber recommends sending a 'Thank You' card, I would seriously consider doing this. Possibly including a personal note of some sort (to remind them of who you were). If they have filled the position, they may find a way to include you in another area, once they see you are serious about finding work.

      Good Luck with the job hunt!

      Thanks for reading and commenting - hope this helps!

    • phonegamesguy profile image

      phonegamesguy 6 years ago

      Great tips but that 'thank you card' idea in the last comment makes me wonder, wouldn't that be perceived as too desperate or as kissing up ? i have never heard of anyone do that before

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Honestly I am not sure, I had never heard of it before, but drbj ^ above, has a Hub on it. She says that it is quite appropriate! She's the expert so I will trust her judgment.

      Thanks for reading and commenting

    • profile image

      ugg uk  6 years ago

      thanks for your sharing the nice post!

    • Chris Crow profile image

      Chris Crow 6 years ago

      Oh man, this is going to be very helpful to a lot of people out there trying to get a job.

    • profile image

      sarahsherlock 6 years ago

      I really like this hub, you are spot on with these tips!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      this is a great guide, specially for the newly grads or newbie in job applications. i remember how nerve wracking my first few interview was.

    • nikitha p profile image

      nikitha p 6 years ago from India

      Very interesting hub! Thanks for sharing this.

    • cooperfsu profile image

      cooperfsu 6 years ago from Valencia, Spain

      Interviews are the worst part about trying to find a new job. Thanks for these tips.

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      I think there are some great tips and explanations for interviews on this hub, Sweetsusieg - especially the points in your "What I will do when you leave" section. Voted up, awesome-ed and useful-ed by me. Thanks for the nice hub.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I remember those days of doing interviews fondly. I did have some great ones. There was only 1 job that I didn't get after an interview (I didn't really want it either). I learned some of these things in my high school secretarial class and have put them to good use.

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