TEST YOUR INTERVIEW
So you're in the thick of the job hunt, but are you ready to tackle the
interview? Here's a brief test of basics to see if you're up to the
task. Just in case, we've provided the answers so you can study for the
- Before the interview:
- Do a breath check.
- Prepare copies of your work.
- Turn the ringer off on your cell phone.
- All of the above.
Answer: "d" - It's the little things that make a big impact,
especially if done wrong. Bad breath, not having a copy of your
resume, or your phone ringing with the "Dukes of Hazzard" theme song
can make a bad impression on the interviewer. Don't let these
no-brainers kill your chances for a job.
- What should you wear to the
- Check the company dress
code and dress accordingly. This will show how you'll fit in.
- Wear what makes you comfy - if you're relaxed,
the interview will go well.
- A suit, it's professional.
- Your lucky underwear (they never fail).
Answer: Always "c" - no ifs, ands or buts. It doesn't matter if your
interview is on Wall Street or Bourbon Street, a suit conveys
professionalism. Anything else will tell the interviewer that you
aren't serious about the interview and won't be serious on the job.
- Upon arriving at the interview:
- Walk into the reception
area and hang around until someone notices you.
- Tell the receptionist your name, who you are
seeing and why you are there.
- Find out exactly where the interviewer's
office is and barge in on them.
- Waltz in and announce, "I'm Here! When do I
Answer: "b" - The receptionist is the
gatekeeper. He or she may announce your arrival to the interviewer,
give you an application to complete, take your coat, or direct you
where to go. Remember to be polite - you might be working with this
- What should you bring to the
- Several copies of your
resume, your portfolio, and pen and paper for note-taking.
- A book to read and a can of pop while you're
- Your mother.
- A portable TV so you don't miss the soaps.
Answer: "a" - You can give additional
resumes to people who you meet at the interview. Your portfolio will
be a visual tool to demonstrate your abilities and accomplishments.
Taking notes will help you identify key needs and responsibilities
and also help you craft questions for your interviewer.
- Q: "Tell me about yourself." A:
- "I was born in Milwaukee
and grew up in Tucson. My twin sister and I attended an
all-girls high school. I love to go running and am learning how
to knit. And my favorite thing to do is spend time with my
Chihuahua Tulip who comes with me everywhere. He's right here in
my bag as a matter of fact."
- "I'm single but no worries because the online dating
scene is hoppin'! Your company has Internet access, doesn't it?"
- "I have four years professional experience in the
industry, plus two years at an internship during college. My success
includes ABC and XYZ."
Answer: "c" - The interviewer wants
to know what type of worker you are. You should discuss your work
history, skills and accomplishments. This is not the time to tell
the story of how you met your spouse or hobbies not related to the
- Q: "Why are you looking for a
new job?" A:
- "I'm sick of the
- "I need more money to support my shopping habit/
social life/ wig fetish."
- "I feel I've mastered the skills
of my current position and there isn't an opportunity for advancement."
- "I HATE my boss - she is evil and I need to get away from the witch.
Listen to what she did . . ."
Answer: "c" - Remember, this person is not
your buddy. Although people are motivated to pursue a job search for
different reasons, your answer should be professional. The
interviewer is looking for the person who can contribute to the
company. In your reason, it is good to imply what you can accomplish
in a new job.
- Before you leave, ask:
- "Can I work from home?"
- "What are the next steps in this process?"
- "What does the job pay?"
- "How's the vacation time?"
Answer: "b" - The answer to this question will
ease your mind without being too intrusive. The hiring manager
should be able to tell you how many candidates they are speaking to,
when they will be calling back for second interviews, and the
timeline for the search. Asking questions about benefits and perks
should not come up in a first interview - this is a discussion for a
later interview and should be initiated by the hiring manager.
- After the interview:
- Send an email or written thank
you to everyone you met that day - immediately.
- Call the interviewer every day and ask if a decision has been made.
- Keep looking for other jobs. If you got this one, they'll let you
- Meet your friends at the movies.
Answer: "a" - Always send a thank you. It used
to be that a written note was best, but with the immediacy of the
Internet and the speed of the search process, sending an email thank
you is acceptable. Even though it is email, treat it as a
professional letter and don't be too casual. If you do send a
written thank you, write it immediately and take it to the post
office before the last pick up of the day.
By Kate Lorenz,
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