Interviews

Prepare for Interview Success

The interview is your in-person opportunity to make an impression on your potential future employer. The following guidelines may seem stringent, but they are designed to let the interviewer focus on you and your strengths — not your dangling jewelry or offbeat tie.

Getting started
  • Be punctual, 5 – 10 minutes early
  • Use a firm handshake
  • Look the interviewer in the eyes
  • Smile, make a good impression (make sure your teeth are brushed and clean)
  • Bring something to write notes on - remember to ask if it's okay to take notes
Appearance counts
  • Hair cut or trimmed (beards or mustaches included, nose hair, ears, eyebrows)
  • Shine your shoes
  • For men: Fresh, dark conservative suit, plain white shirt, conservative tie, socks should match your trousers, belt should match your shoes
  • For women: dark business suit, simple blouse, low-heeled shoes, panty hose (even in the summer).
  • Wear only: wedding ring, watch, and simple earrings (women only!). No other jewelry.
  • Do not wear too much perfume or cologne; your freshly showered body is good enough
What to say (and not to say)
  • Have a prepared list of questions to ask
  • Do not talk about money or benefits on the first interview unless they bring it up. Tell them your current salary if asked and say "while money is important, the right opportunity and challenge are my first priorities." If pressed, give a range. For example, if you seek $62,000, and they were thinking $61,000, they might not extend an offer at all — fearing a turndown — though $61,000 might have been acceptable to you. On the other side, if you say $62,000 and they offer you $62,000 even though they were thinking $64,000, that would be a bummer!
  • Do not play the NAME GAME. If you know a mutual person, the employer may ask you what you think of the person. Exercise extreme caution. Do not talk about people.
  • Do not bad mouth your past or current employer but show them you are interested in changing jobs.
  • If you are interested in the position, let the person you are talking with know that you would like to work with him and that you are interested in the position.
Food and drink precautions
  • If you eat during an interview, (breakfast, lunch, or dinner meeting), do not order something messy. Use your utensils and your napkin, and remember your manners. Do not talk with your mouth full.
  • Do not drink alcohol or smoke under any circumstances. This is an interview!
  • Be careful not to suck on candy or chew gum after you have eaten.
  • If the interviewing day will be long, please have breakfast!
Responding to an offer
  • If they make you an offer and it is acceptable, say yes.
  • If for some reason it is not acceptable, let them know you will think it over, and then call Laso immediately. Most employers accept two days as the standard amount of time between an offer and acceptance. The interview process is when your questions should be answered. There really is little necessity to "think" about an offer once it is made.
  • At the end of your interview, call Laso promptly. We would like to hear from you after you have talked to the employer. Remember, your enthusiasm will sell you. Be yourself and everyone will like you.
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Life Coaching by Laurie Swanson