Tips for an interview: during an interview

When You First Arrive

When you first arrive at the interview there are three things you want to do:

  • Find the person in charge of the room
  • Using a friendly and polite manner, inform them that you are here for an interview
  • Let the person know who you are supposed to meet (if you know this), or for what department

This person will most likely instruct you to a waiting area. Quietly wait there for the interviewer. A quick tip here is that you should be listening for, and understanding, the interviewers name if you do not already know it. This will help during the introductions.

Meeting the Interviewer

Interaction both before and during the interview, in a positive friendly manner with the interviewer will help establish a rapport which may help in the hiring decision later. There are a few simple tips which can help this matter:

  • When you meet the interviewer do the following - stand, smile, extend your hand and call them by name if possible (if not, use Sir or Ma'am)
  • Follow the interviewer from the waiting area to where the interview will take place; be careful to stay close but keep a polite distance
  • Wait for the interviewer to motion for you to take a seat, and then do so quickly and quietly
  • Keep yourself aware of your body language and non verbal communications

Interacting During the Interview

Once the interview begins, remember that listening to and understanding what the interviewer is discussing is critical. You need to be completely involved in this meeting. View the interview as a two-way conversation where both the interviewer and yourself are trying to learn as much about your fit into the company and the job as possible. Here are some tips to help guide you through any possible issues or problems to help with interacting during the interview:

  • General questions - if you are asked a general question (example - your background), offer to explain a specific area which you can provide positive experiences
  • Unexpected questions - do not panic, simply ask the interviewer to repeat the question or probe for information if you are unsure of what the interviewer is asking
  • Follow up questions - this is the interviewers way of picking up a certain piece of information
  • Unasked questions - if you notice the interviewer has possible unanswered questions or issues about a topic, offer to clarify the matter using a positive experience or behavior

If you take the time to listen and understand what the employer is looking for, you have various ways to sell yourself during the interview. Such selling methods might include:

  • With each answer, provide an example of a positive action or behavior
  • If a job related skill isn't being addressed by the interviewer, it is allowable to bring the skill into the conversation using a good transition.

Interacting at the interview involves both listening for and understanding what the interviewer wants for information. There may be certain pieces of information which will help you gain the edge in getting the job, but you must be aware of when to offer this information.