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Tips for a Successful Interview

Do Your Homework

Learn as much as you can about the opportunity and the interviewing organization. Evaluate your own knowledge, skills and abilities and think about how you qualify for the opportunity. Find out information about the organization ahead of time.

Interview styles

Be prepared for a variety of interview styles. Some interviewers simply ask questions from a list, some use a conversational style, and others may just say something like, "Tell me about yourself and why you want this opportunity." You may be asked to give a graphic representation of yourself in words or symbols on a chalkboard or flip chart. You could use one or more of the following types of visual aids: bar graph, freehand drawing, pyramid steps or resume outline.

Appearance

Plan how you will look. Dont try a new haircut or style, but do get a haircut about a week before your interview. Makeup and jewelry, if worn, should be moderate. Dress conservatively and comfortably, about one level above what you would wear to work. Being clean and neat is most important. Plan ahead so that you dont have to scramble at the last minute about what to wear. Have a backup outfit ready just in case. No denim and no backpack.

Practice

Practice answering questions. List your skills, talents and experiences that directly apply to this opportunity, as well as any hobbies that relate to it, so you can tell the interviewer(s) about what you can do. Plan and practice some answers to typical questions. Practice in front of a mirror, or record your practice interviews on an audio- or videotape. Watch for nervous gestures and eliminate any slang or other inappropriate language. You will be expected to speak in the language of work and school. Enlist the help of others to ask you questions and evaluate your answers and presentation. Look on the Internet for sites with practice interview sessions.

Developed by Dr. Mohamed Rifas