The Interview

  • Arrive early (approximately 15 minutes—if you are any earlier, wait in your car until about 15 minutes before the interview). Check your appearance in the restroom.

  • Introduce yourself to the secretary/receptionist and inform them that you have an interview with Mr./Ms. (name of interviewer) at (time).

  • Follow the interviewer's lead. When he/she greets you, pause a moment and allow them to initiate the handshake, so as not to appear you are dominating the interview. If they do not, you may initiate it. Always offer a firm handshake!

  • Make and maintain good eye contact! If it is a group interview, respond to one of the interviewer's questions by first looking at them, then making eye contact with each of the others throughout your answer.

  • Show interest and enthusiasm by using attentive listening skills such as nodding to show you are hearing and understanding the question, smiling periodically, and maintaining a pleasant and alert—not scowling, frowning, or flatfacial expression.

  • Pay attention to verbal cues from the interviewer so you'll know when it's time for you to stop talking. However, make sure you end your own responses appropriately by developing "concluding statements" that summarize your response and show that you are finished.

  • Don't assume a passive role in the interview. Bring up key qualifications you possess if the interview questions aren't allowing you to communicate these. However, use tact and timing. Build upon information the interviewer shares by relating specific knowledge, skills, or experience you have relevant to that information.

  • As the interview draws to a close, you will likely be asked if you have any questions. Ask about the hiring date or when you can expect to hear from them regarding their decision, and then ask if you may call if you don't hear anything by then. Remember to send a thank you within two days of the interview! See Post-Interview Tips for more details.