Interview Tips & Suggestions
Before and During the Interview
1. Be at least ten minutes early to your interview. This gives you time to compose yourself and gather your thoughts before being introduced to the interviewer. If you can, try to visit the location where the interview will take place beforehand. This will help to reduce stress/anxiety on the day of the interview. It will also let you know how much time you'll need for the commute.
2. When you meet the interviewer, be polite. It is surprising how often one forgets this if he/she has other things on their mind. Greet the interview with a firm and confident handshake and maintain good eye contact. The interviewer's first impression of you will affect the entire interview.
3. Regarding dress: always wear appropriate clothing; a tie and sports coat for a man and proper business attire for women. The interviewer expects that you will be trying to make a good impression, so don't worry about being overdressed; Hair should be combed or brushed. If you aren't using a good deodorant, use one before the interview and the same goes for mouthwash. When someone doesn't know you, it's the little things they notice first.
4. Be prepared. Know as much about the client as possible. Research their company. By the time you arrive at the interview, you should have several questions about the company prepared. This shows the interviewer that you've done your homework. Bring samples of your work. Bring several copies of your resume and a list of your working references. If the interviewer can't locate your resume, don't be offended; offer them a new one.
5. Be honest. Don't oversell your skills and abilities but don't undersell them either. A good rule is to slightly undersell your abilities, so when you are on assignment you exceed the client's expectations.
Possible Interview Questions
1. Tell me about yourself. The interviewer is looking for you to provide a logical map of your professional and educational path. Start with the last position listed on your resume and move to your most recent. Summarize your role and responsibilities in your previous jobs, how you were held accountable, what you learned from your position and why you left. If your professional history includes career changes, don't shy away from them. Turn them into a strength by explaining how a career change enhanced your credentials. Have a clear timeline prepared beforehand so you don't get stumped.
2. Why did you change jobs? Interviewers always want to know the reasons for job changes. Be prepared to answer questions about why you left. Stay positive about past experiences.
3. What type of management styles have you liked in the past? Summarize the management styles you've worked with before, and what you liked about different management styles you've encountered. Avoid negativity. The interviewer wants to gauge how flexible you are in working with different types of managers.
4. Where do you see yourself in X years? The interviewer wants to get an idea of how much you've thought about your career. Explain what sort of role you'd like to be in the future, and offer a clear explanation of how you hope to use future opportunities to get there.
5. What qualities make you particularly stand out from your peers? Employers want employees that will go above and beyond. Avoid merely summarizing your resume here, the interviewer has read it. Discuss ways in which you've been dynamic in past positions; projects undertaken, processes you've improved, anything that makes you stand out.
6. Why should we hire you for this position? One of the most blunt questions you can expect to be asked. Don't be stumped, this is an opportunity to tie together your education and professional experiences as well as your personal qualities.
7. What expectations do you have for this job? What do you hope to gain? The interviewer wants to gauge your expectations of the role you will take if hired at the new position. This is where researching the position and the company comes in handy.
8. Do you have any questions? You should be prepared to ask some specific questions about the company you're interviewing for. You can also use this as an opportunity to ask questions about the position. This shows the interviewer that you've done your homework. After the interview is over, thank the interviewer for their time, ask them if there is anything regarding your background they'd like further clarification on, and ask when you can expect to know about the hiring decision. It's important to leave room for future contact.