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Preparing for a job interview Pt: 2


Last week we talked about preparing before the interview.  This week let’s focus on the interview and what happens after.

 During the Interview

 1.  Turn off your cell phone before entering the building. You want to make a good first impression and a ringing phone will not make you look important.{{more}}

2.  Remain calm and relaxed.  You probably will be a little nervous, but try to breathe slowly to help calm the butterflies.

3.  Address the interviewers by name.  Unless you are given permission to use a person’s first name, be respectful and use a title (Mr or Ms) and last name when addressing them.

4.  Avoid fidgeting.  It’s distracting and makes you appear less confident. 

5.  Answer questions honestly.  Lying or exaggerating when answering questions will only reflect badly on your character, especially if your references say something different or if you are hired and the interviewer finds you out later.

6.  Be brief and precise when answering questions. Providing lengthy answers, giving irrelevant information or answering questions with one word (“yes” or “no”) will not present a professional image of you. Instead, say “No, I don’t have any experience doing that” or “Yes, I can start on Monday.”

7.  Have at least three prepared questions.  Feel free to ask your questions throughout the interview. The interviewer will probably ask you if you have any questions. Never say “No, I do not have any questions.” Always come prepared with at least three questions to ask. Some examples might be: “What is the dress code for the job?” “What kind of training and orientation do you provide?” and “What do you think is the most important factor for me to do a good job for you?”

8.  Ask for the interviewer’s business card.  If at the end of the interview the interviewer has not offered you a card, politely ask for one. “May I please have one of your cards?”

9. Ask about the time-frame for making a decision.  Ask the interviewer when he/she expects to make a final decision. This will help you to determine when to call and follow up.

After the Interview

1.  Send a thank-you email.  Within 24 hours of the interview, write an email saying thanks for taking the time to meet with you and include your contact information.   Note: Add a classy touch with a handwritten thank-you card after the email. Make sure your card is a plain blank card with just the words “thank you” on it. Please, no cards or email backgrounds with cute flowers, animals or poems.

2.  Wait to hear from the interviewer.  Be patient and wait to hear if you’ve been hired. Depending on what the interviewer told you their time-frame was for making a decision, follow up shortly after with a polite email or phone call.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to

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