Nail the Interview . . . Get the Job!

Because your career choice is important, we encourage you to PREPARE, affording yourself the best possible chance of getting the job.

Resume Writing Tips

Update your resume. Make sure that your resume is as complete and up-to-date as possible. Here are a few tips to consider when updating your resume.

Attach a cover letter with all resume submissions.

  • A cover letter should complement your resume and not be a duplicate of your resume.
  • Used when responding to specific, advertised openings or expressing interest in organization.
  • Explains why you are sending the resume, how you learned about the company and the position.
  • Convinces reader to look at your resume.
  • Shows your personality, attitude, enthusiasm and communication skills.

Provide updated personal contact information.
Name, address, phone number (s), and email address.

List employment history in chronological order with the most recent employer first.
Limit repeating the same action words throughout the resume.

  • Instead of using the verb developed or led over and over, pull out your thesaurus and mix in terms like accelerated, delivered, directed, established, initiated, or reengineered.

If possible limit your resume to 1-2 pages.
Edit and proofread.

  • Edit your resume to reduce fluff and make every word count. Set your resume aside for a few days and then come back to it again with “fresh eyes.”

Tips for a Successful Interview

Preparation is key to a successful interview. Learn what you should do before, during and after the interview. Here are a few tips to consider in preparing for your interview.

What should I do before the interview?

Research the Organization
Research the company with whom you are interviewing. Nothing impresses an interviewer more than a candidate that knows about the organization. It shows that you have initiative.

Be punctual
Get there on time. The importance of punctuality cannot be stressed enough. Plan to arrive about 15 minutes early. It shows your regard for the interviewer’s time. If you have to wait, use the time to go over your notes.

Dress professionally
It shows that you cared enough about the interviewer and the organization to present yourself in a professional manner.

Here’s how:

  • Wear a solid color conservative suit with a coordinated shirt or blouse
  • Wear moderate shoes
  • Make sure your hair is well groomed and neat
  • Don’t overdo the perfume, makeup, cologne or after shave
  • Limit your jewelry
  • Make sure to try on your outfit BEFORE the day of the interview
  • Check the mirror and see what others see. Your clothes reflect your image. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Practice. Practice. Practice.
Practice makes perfect. All the information that you would have obtained about successful interviewing is wasted if you do not practice. You can know all the questions the interviewer will ask, but if you do not practice, it would be as if you did not. Have a friend go over the questions with you until you are able to answer them promptly without stuttering.

What you should do during the interview?

Give the interviewer a firm handshake.
Give the interviewer a firm handshake, even if the interviewer is a woman and you are man. Nobody likes a limp handshake but by the same token do not take the person’s hand off either. While shaking, introduce yourself keeping eye contact at all times.

Nothing is worse than an interviewee who looks depressed or indifferent. Would you want to work with someone who is always depressed?

Maintain eye contact at all times.
You are confident about yourself and your capabilities. Relay that. Do not stare out of the window or fiddle with your pencil. The interviewer is talking to you or you to him. Be attentive.

Speak clearly.
Do not mumble your words. It portrays a lack of confidence.

Respond to your interviewer.
If they make a joke, smile to acknowledge that one was made, even if it was not funny.

Listen before you answer questions.
Make sure you have understood the question. If you do not, ask him to clarify it. Take a second, then answer.

Give brief answers.
Answer promptly and intelligently. However, when asked yes or no questions, elaborate.

Complete the application thoroughly.
For salary requirements put negotiable, unless specified not to do so. In that case, put the salary range for your profession along with your experience.

Ask the interviewer questions.
Even if he does not ask you “Do you have any questions,” ask him anyway.

Thank the interviewer.
Be sure to thank the interviewer for his time

What you should do after the interview?

Thank the interviewer in writing.
Send the interviewer a formal thank you.

What should you NOT do?

It may be obvious that most of the things you should not do are the opposite of what you should do. However, there’s no harm in being reminded.

Be dishonest.
If an employer asks “Do you know about ….? and you do not, say No. If you say yes, the next question is almost always “Tell me about it.”

Chew gum during the interview.
It’s tacky and inappropriate. I would recommend that you do not before the interview either. You may forget to remove it.

Do not smoke prior to the interview.

Refuse a job offer in the interview.
Don’t ever refuse a job offer until you have had the time to think about it. It may be the only one you get.

Make sure your answers are short and to the point.

Cell Phone.
Turn your cell phone off prior to arriving for your interview. It is important that you remove any distractions that could interrupt your interview.

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