Top Ten Tips for a Terrific Interview

Finding a job in today’s economic climate is not easy by any means. To the recent graduate, it can be a daunting task that leaves you overwhelmed. ABC news reports the median time of unemployment for job seekers to be about 40 weeks. This record-breaking statistic can be discouraging but it illustrates the absolute necessity to land the job interviews you are fortunate to get. The following list has been compiled from CBS, Yahoo!, US Department of State and an array of various articles. Read on to learn more, so you can impress at your next interview and start the career you have studied so hard for!

    1. Be On Time: It seems simple, but you would be surprised at how often people arrive late for an interview. This hurts your first impression and puts doubt in the employers mind. Will they be late for work? Is this a habit? To be safe, give yourself ample time to account for the unexpected and know details, like travel routes and parking options, before you leave.

    2. Dress the Part:Regardless of the job you are applying for, always be sure to dress to impress. Many offices have casual work attire but that doesn’t mean you should show up for an interview in jeans and a t-shirt. Typically business attire is a safe bet for any meeting. The only exception would be interviews that are requiring a practical portion where they want to see you on the job, but the interviewee will make that abundantly clear beforehand.

    3. Presentation: In addition to your attire, how you present yourself is very important. Make eye contact, be polite, and show through non-verbal cues that you are interested but relaxed.

    4. Have a Great Resume:Los Angeles ORT College offers classes to help you prepare for the job hunt that include instructions on resume writing. These classes can be extremely beneficial. It is always good to make sure your resume is updated and tailored for the job you are applying for. It is also a good idea to bring a hard-copy with you to the interview; it shows you are always prepared.

    5. Be Honest: Many people pad their resume in an attempt to make themselves seem more desirable for the position. This could come back to hurt you. With technology so readily accessible, employers are checking out possible hires more than ever before. The last thing you want is to get stuck in a lie.

    6. Do Your Research:Employers love to see an interviewee who has done their homework. Knowing the basics on the company will not only impress them but allow you to ask relevant questions later on.

    7. Practice: You won’t know the exact questions you are going to be asked but you can get a general idea. Practicing answers to the questions below will be a good start for any interview:

    • What are your goals for the next year? (Or five or ten years.)
    • What is your proudest achievement?
    • What do you think your co-workers (or teachers) would say about what kind of worker you are?
    • Give me an example of a problem you had, and how you resolved it.
    • Tell me about yourself.
    • Why do you want to work for this organization?

    8. Ask Questions: At some point in the interview you are typically asked if you have any questions, use this as an opportunity to show your interest and that you have done your research. Think of a few questions beforehand and be at the ready.

    9. Follow-up: A thank you note can sometimes give you that extra edge. If the employer is deciding between two people and they receive a note from you it may be enough to sway their decision in your favor. Use your best judgment when deciding whether to send a card through the mail or contact them with an e-mail.

    10. Celebrate:Hopefully you will be celebrating your new job, but remember every interview is a learning experience, so no matter the outcome be thankful you made it through this nerve-racking process!

    Los Angeles ORT College has a Career Placement team that works to help each graduate with the interview process. Contact ORT today to learn more and get ready for your new career!

    LA ORT is a group of nonprofit junior colleges in Los Angeles and Van Nuys provide career training in short term courses.