Interview Tips by Placement Director Mike McNamara

If you’re more comfortable sending a text than making a call, an interview may seem like an overwhelming task. In this day and age, technology reigns supreme. When it comes to the in-person interview though, time-tested practices still hold true; Eye contact, a firm handshake and remaining present in the conversation will all get you a leg up over the competition.

Have a big in-person interview coming up? Here are some of the best tips we’ve come across over the years to help you ace it.

  • Dress appropriately for the industry; err on the side of being conservative (business casual to business formal) to show you take the interview seriously. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable.
  • Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park, find a rest room to freshen up, etc.
  • Arrive early; 10 minutes prior to the interview start time.
  • Treat other people you encounter at the interview location with courtesy and respect. Not only is it a decent thing to do, their opinions of you might be solicited during hiring decisions.
  • Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer. Listen to be sure you understand your interviewer’s name and the correct pronunciation.
  • Even when your interviewer gives you a first and last name, address your interviewer by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.
  • Maintain good eye contact during the interview.
  • Bring a pen and a small notebook for any notes you may need to take. Avoid taking notes on your smartphone.
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question.
  • Be prepared to answer common interview questions, such as: “Tell me about yourself” or “Why are you interested in this role with our company?”. Know these answers by heart so that you can give them clearly and confidently.
  • Have intelligent questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Do your research about the employer in advance (start by reviewing their website), ask any questions you did not find an answer to.
  • Write a thank you letter to your interviewer(s) promptly following your interview.