The time you spend in your job interview might be the most important few minutes of your job hunting experience.

Job Interview(42106)Credit:

A job interview can "make or break" a candidate.  You might have every qualification the prospective employer wants, but if you do not interview well you probably won't get the job.

First Impression

What is a "first impression?" Simply it is the first thoughts a person has after seeing you or listening to what you have to say. These are made during the first five seconds and then the first few minutes of a conversation.

This is your first opportunity to create an impression with the person interviewing you.   

Make it a good one! 

  • This is your first opportunity to get "up close and personal."
  • You are the focus during your interview - be someone that they will remember - in a positive way!

Having good interview skills will benefit you throughout your life.  Start building them now!  You will find that you will be interviewed in many situations such as employment, teams, pageants, scholarships, housing, etc.


Your appearance will be the first impression they will judge.  Make sure that you pay attention to details.  The best interview outfit is a suit for the men or a simple jacket with a skirt for the ladies.  If you are wearing a Sunday dress, make sure it isn’t too "frilly."  If the job is in a more casual setting you can wear dress slacks with a nice shirt and tie.  No jeans!

Wear an interview outfit that:

  • Is something that you are comfortable wearing.  Make sure you can sit easily in what you are wearing.
  • Fits well.  Not too tight or big and baggy. 
  • Is clean, well pressed and in good repair.
  • Is modest!  Keep your skirt long enough that you aren’t tugging at it.  Over the knee is by far the best look.  No cleavage!!!!
  • Compliments you.  Use colors and styles that show your best assets. 
  • Is not distracting.  Avoid wild colors, dangling things, weird styles, logo wear, etc.

Make sure that your outfit doesn’t wear you.  You are the focal point - not a fancy expensive outfit.  When you leave you want them to remember you and not what you wore.

Keep the accessories simple.  Avoid wearing rings if you have a tendency to fiddle with them.  Five pieces of jewelry is the max!  Such as a necklace, earrings, watch, one ring on both hands.  Avoid dangling earrings.  They are very distracting.

Men, a watch and a ring is plenty for you.  Avoid piercings!

Cover tatoo's.

Don't play with your hair or jewelry while talking.

Make Up for the ladies:

You will usually be sitting pretty close so keep it simple. 

  • Daytime make up is the best.  You are not on stage!  
  • Blend everything well. 
  • Make sure the colors compliment your outfit.


Ladies, wear a style that is simple and professional looking.  Do not have strands of hair hanging in your eyes. Avoid bows to pull your hair back, use a simple clip for a more professional look.

Men, get a hair cut if it is needed.  Avoid the “bed-head” look.  It may be in style but for your job interview you will want to look “clean cut.” 


Your hands must be clean.  Ladies have with your nails done.  Keep your nail color clear or a natural light color.  If you have acrylics put on, do it a few days ahead of time so that you are used to them!

Basic Pointers

Show confidence! 

Walk into your interview with the confidence that you know that you can be the next junior vice president or whatever you are applying for!

Be confident - not cocky!  There is a difference.


Avoid answering with a negative point of view.  Always keep things on the positive side - look for the positive in every situation and find a way to bring that out.  Ie. Working with others, demanding work schedules, etc.

Be up-beat and optimistic in your attitude.  It will show in your answers.

Friendly and Enthusiastic

Be friendly and open.  Smile!  But remember to act professionally. 

Never call the interviewers by their first name - this is being too friendly!

Avoid being silly or giggling.  Many ladies tend to giggle when they are nervous.

Don’t be a “know it all” when you are talking.


Express the experiences, feelings and opinions that YOU have.

Be careful not to offend with your answers. 

Show that you can be trusted. 

Be yourself.  A new boss can spot a Aphony@ very easily.


Take a deep breath and think positive thoughts before you walk in. 

Don't fiddle with your hands or clothing.  It makes you look nervous.

Don't rush into your answers.  Take a moment and collect your thoughts.

Make eye contact

Look at your interviewer(s) throughout the interview. 

If you are being interviewed by a panel and a member of the panel asks a specific question, look at that person to begin your answer.  Look at the others, but focus on the person asking the question.    

Don't look down at your lap or up at the ceiling when trying to formulate your answer.  Keep your eyes at eye level with the interviewer.     

Never lie on your application or in the interview.  Be honest about your accomplishments and feelings.  They might know more about you than you realize.

Answering the Questions

Good Grammar

No slang or trendy words - dude!

Use complete sentences when answering.

Avoid using words such as: like, >kay, um, etc.

Use Yes and NO - not yeah and huh-uh.

Don't talk too fast or too slow.

Finish the endings of words, especially "ing" such as gettin' -  getting.

Find other descriptive words besides awesome, cool, etc.

Learn new words!  Choose a new word a day to practice using.

Three Thoughts

Try to think of three points to make. It is usually a good length of time for most questions.  Too much or too little can really hurt.  Most interviewers want to know that you know about the subject they are asking about but they don't want your whole life story in ten minutes!

Be Informed

Study, study, study – the company, the job, the requirements

Use quotes where applicable.

Short personal stories or experiences adds a nice touch


If you "know your stuff" the interview will seem much easier for you.  You will need to study so that you can have intelligent answers to the questions.  All job interviews will want to know if you are a well-rounded person and if you can relate to others in the work environment.  


"I know who I am and where I am going!"

  • Who are you?
  • What are your values and standards?
  • What are your goals?

Short term

Long term




Application Questions

Know everything you have written on your ajob pplication.  After you prepare it make sure you know every point on it.  Your future employer will ask a lot of questions based on your application such as your schooling, past positions, past co-workers, etc.

Practice your questions and answers (in complete sentences) constantly. 

 If the interview panel asks if you have any questions for them – do your research on the company and ask a couple of questions that are applicable to your needs.  Don’t just linger around to pass time.  This is not the time for idle chit-chat. 

Shake hands and tell the interviewer(s) thank you for their time. 

Always write a thank you note to follow up on the interview.  Send it the next day.  This will keep you in the forefront of their minds.