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Tips for a successful interview

You’ve got that big interview coming up this week for your “dream job.”  We at Foreign HR are behind you all the way and offer you these tips to help calm your nerves and ace the interview.  Follow these guidelines to project yourself with confidence and dignity.

· Punctuality:  Be near the interview site 10-15 minutes early.  Remember, it is always best to be early than to be even one minute late.  Allow time for potential traffic problems, car problems or if you use public transportation, buses and subways are not immune to breakdowns either.  It is probably best to scope out the location of the interview a day or two early so as to avoid getting lost.

· Dress for success:  Your appearance is very important as it is that “first impression” that leaves that indelible impression in the interviewers mind.  Dress in a manner indicative to the position.  For example, if you are interviewing for a banking position, one should dress conservatively in a business suit.  If you are interviewing for a position in the entertainment or fashion industry, then dressing “trendy” may be acceptable.  No matter the position, one should always lean a little toward the conservative angle when dressing for a job interview.

· Enthusiasm:   Always greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and speak in a positive, confident tone.  This may take a bit of acting ability on your part because you may feel a little shaky on the inside…but soldier on!  Employers want bright, energetic people working for them!

· Research:   Learn as much about the company as you can before the interview.  The company’s website should be a great starting point.  Searching the local newspaper for any recent articles may show you are well-informed and keep up-to-date on current events.  If you have any acquaintances that work for the company, talking to them about the company’s culture, various procedural aspects, hiring practices, and so forth, can be a wealth of information to have in your arsenal prior to the interview.

· Preparation:  Come to the interviewed prepared by carrying extra copies of your cv/resume, references, certifications, and means to take notes.  Carrying these extra documents in an attractive, leather bound (or a good imitation) folder shows a measure of professionalism.   Also be prepared with a list of questions you want to ask about the company.

· Listen:  Being a good listener is one of the most admired human qualities.  If an interviewer realizes this, then he knows you pay attention and will follow orders and take direction.  That alone is a much desired quality in an employee.

· Answer the questions asked:  Demonstrate you are a good listener by answering the questions the interviewer asks of you.  Be concise, and give short answers with good content.  Long, windy answers should be avoided as it may give the impression that you are not sure how to answer the given question, or that you are boasting.  

· Give examples:  When answering questions, try to give specific examples that highlight your qualities.  If, for instance, the interviewer wants to know if you can take initiative and be independent, give examples of how you have started tasks on your own and tell about the successful outcome of those tasks.

· Ask questions:  Asking questions about the company shows that you are interested in how it functions and that as an employee, you may wish to make contributions to the company’s future success.

· Follow up:  Always follow up the interview with a “thank you” email, or snail mail.  Either way, it is important to show good manners and following this basic, simple line of protocol is a final effort to demonstrate your professionalism.

Projecting yourself as cool and confident during your interview will help you to get that dream job.  Implement these guidelines in your efforts to be prepared and you are on your way!  Foreign HR is behind you and wishes you much success!