Interview Tips and Preparation

Everyone is nervous on interviews. If you simply allow yourself to feel nervous, you'll do much better. Remember also that it's difficult for the interviewer as well. In general, be upbeat and positive. Never be negative. Rehearse your answers and time them. Never talk for more than 2 minutes straight. Don't try to memorize answers word for word. Use the answers shown here as a guide only, and don't be afraid to include your own thoughts and words. To help you remember key concepts, jot down and review a few key words for each answer. Rehearse your answers frequently, and they will come to you naturally in interviews.



  1. Dress appropriately for the industry.  When in doubt, go conservative.  Personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable. Keep cologne or perfume to a minimum.  Pay particular attention to hands and fingernails.

  2. Arrive 10 minutes early.  Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park, and find a restroom to freshen up.

  3. Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect.  Their opinions of you might be solicited during the hiring process.

  4. Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by the interviewer.

  5. Listen to be sure you understand your interviewer’s name and the correct pronunciation.

  6. Even when your interviewer gives you a first and last name, address your interviewer by Mr. Or Ms. And the last name, until invited to do otherwise.

  7. Maintain good eye contact during the interview.

  8. Sit still in your seat; avoid fidgeting and slouching.

  9. Respond to questions and back up your statements about yourself with specific examples whenever possible.

  10. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question; and be thorough in your responses while being concise in your wording.

  11. Use good grammar and good diction.  Say “yes”, not “yeah.”  Don’t fill pauses with “um,” uh” or “ah”.  Don’t punctuate sentences with “you know”, “like”, “see” or “okay”.

  12. Treat the interview seriously and show interest in the employer and the opportunity presented and respond to questions in a positive manner.

  13. Watch the tone of your voice.  While it might be trendy among your friends to “up speak” (end sentence with a higher tone of voice so that sentences sound like questions), this habit will kill your credibility during the interview.

  14. Answer the question and use professional experiences or descriptive information to demonstrate how you would react or respond to a situation.

  15. Make sure answers have a definite flow.  In the beginning state major points you want to make; in the middle expand upon those points or ideas, and in the end reinforce your key points and end on a positive note.

  16. Evaluate the interviewer and the organization.  An interview is a two-way street.

  17. Make sure you understand the employer’s next step in the hiring process; know when and from whom you should expect to hear next.


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