In any job interview, first impressions really are important. Here are some tips to help you make a strong and positive impression...
Making the appointment.
Make it easy for an employer to reach you, and make sure you have a professional-sounding message on your answering machine or voice mail.
Make sure you have an e-mail account that seems professional - your first initial and last name is a good approach.
Check your voice mail and e-mail frequently. If you don't respond to messages quickly, you may lose the chance at an interview.
Use a professional telephone manner and present yourself in a way that will reassure an employer that you'll be a good representative for their company.
Know where you're going. Check the location ahead of time, so you know where to go and whether there will be any accessibility issues.
Don't be late! If you're late for the interview, an employer will think you'll be late for the job.
Present yourself well. Shower and shampoo your hair. Make sure your fingernails are clean. Brush your teeth. Wear clean and neatly pressed clothing, with no stains or tears. Don't wear anything too revealing. Avoid strong perfume or excessive jewelry, and hide tattoos if possible.
Always speak in a professional manner. Even if you're nervous, don't fidget during the interview. Do not eat while you are in the building.
Listen carefully to questions and answer respectfully and appropriately. An employer needs to get a sense of who you are and what you'll bring to the position, not endless details.
Remember: The first interview might seem scary, but the more you do it, the more skilled you'll become at it.
Walking into an interview can be intimidating, and nerves keep people from performing at their best. The key here is preparation. If your son or daughter is prepared for the questions, it will be much easier to be relaxed in the interview. Here are a few tips to help get ready for the interview:
Practice. Sit down with your son or daughter and ask questions as if he or she were in an interview. Ask about strengths, weaknesses, and experience. If your son or daughter gets stuck on a question, come back to it later. Once they have become more comfortable talking about their personal accomplishments and experiences, that question may be easier to handle.
Have your son or daughter research the company or organization and prepare questions to ask the interviewer. Not only will it provide insight into the job, but it will also show the interviewer that the applicant is thorough and well prepared.
After the interview, remind your son or daughter to prepare a handwritten thank-you letter to the person or people with whom he or she interviewed. This will portray enthusiasm about the position, and will provide one last chance to stay high on the interviewer's list.
Follow up with your son or daughter about the interview. If he or she got stuck on a question or felt that an answer could have been presented better, help figure out what would make more of an impact at the next interview.