Julia's Jobs: Tips and Resources


Job interviewing tips

Research the employer

Take time before your interview to learn about the prospective employer. Most companies have a web site where they provide information about their history, founders, products and markets. The more you know about what the company does, the more relaxed you'll be during the interview and the more easily you'll be able to make relevant responses to the interviewer's questions.

Drive by the office

Unless your interview is located in another city far away, drive by the office before you go for the interview. Figure out where you'll park, where the entrance is, how long it takes to drive there from your home. This preparation will reduce the amount of novelty you have to encounter on the day of the interview. You'll already feel somewhat familiar with your surroundings and this will reduce anxiety.

Eat, exercise, relax

At least an hour before the interview, have a light meal. Eat food that digests easily. Choose foods that you have frequently, and that you know make you feel good. If possible, go for a walk or do other exercise. The activity will generate endorphins, pump blood through your body and make you alert and energetic. These are qualities you want to project during the interview. If you know how to meditate or do another relaxation technique, do it before the interview. When you feel calm and centered, you'll do your best.

Dress appropriately

Find out what employees typically wear at the company where you're doing an interview. If in doubt, wear something slightly more formal. Never wear jeans. Never wear tops that show off your body. Wear shoes that hide your toes, not flip-flops. Be a bit conservative. You are looking for a job, not a date. If you're applying for a professional position, wear a business suit.

Arrive early, but not too much

Plan to get to the office about 15 minutes before your interview. Be sure to allow time to find parking unless you know there is plenty of available parking. If you're traveling over roads that are frequently congested, leave even more time. You don't want to feel stress on your way to the interview because you're worried that you might be late. If you get to the office more than 15 minutes early, stay in your car or go for a short walk. Then arrive in your interviewer's office about five minutes before your appointment.

Connect with the receptionist

In most large and many small companies, you'll first encounter a receptionist or assistant who will let the interviewer know you have arrived. Make a special effort to be friendly with this person. She or he may give first impressions about you to the interviewer later. If you sit for a few minutes in a waiting room, assume you are being observed. Consider that the intervew begins the moment you walk in the front door. You are onstage. Everything you say and do is part of your performance.

Smile and shake hands

Treat the interviewer as a potential friend. Be warm. Smile. Shake hands. Show confidence. If the interviewer asks about the weather or other matters not related to the job, chat in a friendly way. Be as social as you can manage. Have fun with the interviewer if you can. Your friendly attitude can be as much a factor in your hiring as your skills and experience.

Show interest in the company

During the interview, display keen interest in the company or organization. If you can imagine where the company might expand its products or services, make respectful suggestions. Your engagement in the company's well-being will communicate that you could be an asset to the company if you are hired.

Write a follow-up note or email

The day after your interview, no matter whether you thought it went well or poorly, send a thank you email or note to the interviewer. Express your interest in the position and mention something that you talked about during the interview. Provide all your contact information in your message and tell the interviewer you look forward to hearing about the opportunity.

You're hired!

If the company offers you the job, immediately contact the interviewer to express your gratitude. Be gracious and friendly. Good luck with the new position.