How to Dress for an Interview
Check your hair, fingernails, and make-up application. Clothing
should be neatly pressed and shoes should be in good condition.
The emphasis should be on appropriate dress; there is no rule
that fits all people. For male and female professionals, a conservative and
properly fitting business suit is recommended. If in doubt, dress up. Jewelry
should be limited. Beards and mustaches are generally accepted when nicely
Types of Interviews
Employers often use a variety of interview techniques and
settings to determine your candidacy and hireability. It is to your advantage
to be aware of which type of interview you'll be experiencing and how to
respond to fit the situation. Following are common interview types and tips for
success in each situation.
Campus interviews will determine who will be invited for on-site
interviews. Tip: You must impress the campus recruiter with your
enthusiasm for your field of study and your potential.
Screening interviews may
be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video to help employers
determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. This type of
interview is often used when an organization is considering flying you out to
their headquarters for a full round of interviews. These interviews are
generally handled by a representative of the HR team and tend to follow a set
format. Sometimes a written 'personality' profile will accompany this type of
interview. Tip: Emphasize succinctly and directly that you bring
the desired skills/abilities for the position. For phone interviews, keep your
notes and portfolio within reach for easy access and reference. In phone
interviews, your voice is your only presentation. For video interviews,
rehearse in advance with a career counselor to prepare for a natural and
This is the most common interview format and is usually
conducted on site by the hiring manager. The interview focuses on questions to
assess your skills, knowledge, and abilities specific to the job. Tip: In
addition to selling your key strengths, ask what problems the supervisor is
facing currently and then suggest strategies that he or she could implement to
resolve the issue.
Three or more people, representing varied departments within the company, typically conduct group interviews. These representatives generally ask you questions that relate to their areas of interest and expertise. Tip: Remember to direct your answers to the person who asks the question, but maintain eye contact with other members of the group as well. Gather business cards from the group. Place the cards in front of you in the configuration of the people in the room to remember names and key in to their represented functions. Following the interview, send a thank you note to each of the participants, personalizing with comments or questions specific to that individual or division.
Peer Group Interview
This type of group interview will
introduce you to your potential co-workers. These team members will not have
the ultimate authority to hire you, but each person's input has influence. Each
will be evaluating you and making recommendations about your fit with the group
and the company.
Tip: Focus on being agreeable and approachable rather than someone with all theanswers.
The purpose of a lunch interview is to assess how well you
handle yourself in social situations. You will probably be dining with your
potential boss and co-workers along with HR professionals.
Tip: Make your meal selection
carefully. Select light, healthy and easy things to eat. Steer clear of
spaghetti or any other potentially messy foods that are not easy to
eat gracefully. Do not order alcohol even if others do.
Second Interview or Series
The series interview consists of consecutive interviews with
three or more people in the organization, all in one day. The interviewers may
consist of someone from personnel, the person who will be your boss, two or
three people from the department, and someone from a different department. You
may have a combination of individual, panel and peer group interviews
throughout the process. The focus of the second interview is to ensure you have
the necessary skills and that you will blend well with the organization's
culture. The key to performing well in this interview is to know in advance
that you will be having it; advance warning will give you time to get mentally
Tip: Switch your focus from emphasis
on your specific strengths to selling yourself as a well-balanced package. Listen carefully
to the interviewers to determine any underlying concerns and attempt to dispel
them. Prove that you've researched the company and demonstrate that you will
work as a dedicated member of the organization.
Qualities Employers Evaluate
During the Interview
- Selfconcept, selfconfidence,goal setting, realisticassessment of
- Mature behavior and judgment
- Communication skills, theabilityto interact with others, the
abilityto listen actively
- Leadership potential, often demonstrated in
extracurricularactivitiesand on the job
- Personality, enthusiasm, poise,cheerfulness, flexibility, sense
- Patterns ofaccomplishment
- Problem solving and analyticalabilities
- Interest in and knowledge of careerfield
- Work ethic,acceptance of responsibility,abilityto keep
- Appearance, dressand grooming