Interview Tips from ISM

Your well written resume has landed an interview for you. Congratulations! The next step is the interview preparation.

Research: Find out as much as possible about your perspective employer. Visit their web site. Be prepared to ask questions pertaining to the organization, the department or the job.

Attire: Dress as professional as possible for the interview. A business suit is appropriate for most interviews. It is better to be dressed more formally than casually. This shows the interviewer that the job is important to you.

Polished shoes and manicured hands add to the overall appearance. Dress in conservative colors. This is not the time to wear hot pink or a flamboyant necktie. Use perfume or cologne sparingly or avoid it altogether.

Punctuality: Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. Nothing can doom an interview more than arriving late.

Meeting the Interviewer: A firm handshake and direct eye contact are essential. If possible, offer a compliment about the nice office, the great location or the great view from the window.

Interview Questions: Listen carefully. Be prepared to answer some standard questions such as: What would say was your greatest accomplishment in your prior position? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Sometimes the interviewer will throw in a silly question just to catch you off guard to see how you react under pressure. Just remember, there are no right answers to these questions. Take a deep breath and try to answer in a way that makes you appear favorable.

Self Promotion: Put your modesty away and be ready to promote yourself. Whenever an opportunity arises in the course of the interview, be ready to interject your accomplishments, but don't change the subject to do this. Remember, when you believe in yourself, others will also.

Ask Questions: When the interview nears its end and the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, always answer in the affirmative. Ask questions about the organization, department or job. Example: "Is this a new or existing position?" Use any knowledge you have gained through your research to ask intelligent questions about the organization.

Salary: If the interviewer asks you for your salary requirements, sometimes it is best to gently deflect the question by asking him/her about the salary range. If this is not possible, give the interviewer your own range and qualify it by adding, depending on the benefits.

Thank you: At the end of the interview, shake hands once again and thank him/her for giving you the opportunity to meet with them. It is appropriate to ask when you might expect to hear from them if they have not already advised you.

When you return home, take some time to write a personal thank you note and mail it immediately. Depending on the company culture, it may be appropriate to write an e-mail thank you note.


Resume Tips