Top 10 Interview Tips

  1. Do your homework – Study up on the company beforehand. Start with the “About Us” section of their website, search Google News for recent press releases, and look up the interviewer on LinkedIn for common connections/interests. Rehearse answers to commonly asked questions and write down some questions of your own.
  2. Make a good first impression – Dress professionally (i.e. wear a suit), arrive 15 minutes early, and bring several copies of your resume along with a pen and paper to take notes. Be polite to the Receptionist while you’re waiting (hiring managers will often ask the Receptionist for their impressions of a candidate). If you smoke, don’t smoke in the car on the way to the interview.
  3. Be specific when answering questions – Try to incorporate specific situations from previous work experience into your answers. Have a few brief stories ready to tell that demonstrate leadership, problem solving, decision making ability, and skills specific to the job requirements. Try to stay on topic and be aware if you are prone to rambling or going off on a tangent.
  4. Don’t get too personal – Be careful about incorporating too many details from your personal life. It’s okay to make a personal connection with the manager with surface level items like where you’re from, if you’re married/have kids, etc, but try to stick to your professional experience and the position you’re interviewing for in general.
  5. Focus on the positive – Don’t speak negatively about a former employer. This should go without saying, but it happens too much to ignore. Also avoid questions like “what are your work hours?”, “how much PTO do I get?”, and “can I work from home?” as you could be perceived as not having a strong work ethic.
  6. Pay attention to your body language – A firm handshake makes a confident first impression. When sitting in a chair, sit up straight or lean slightly forward. Keep both feet on the floor at shoulder width or crossed with one knee over the other. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and don’t read off your resume. When standing next to people, respect their personal space by maintaining an arm’s length distance (about 3ft).
  7. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” – Managers are very adept at sniffing out a made-up answer, especially if they are well-versed in the topic themselves. It’s better to be honest (and express a curiosity in wanting to learn) than trying to fake an answer.
  8. Don’t get specific with salary questions – If you’re asked about your salary requirements, avoid giving a specific number. It’s easy to get ambitious and price yourself out, but it’s equally easy to shoot too low when you could have gotten more. Focus your answer on the overall opportunity (skills development, growth potential, benefits, etc) and let the manager know that you’re looking for the best overall opportunity. If you’re being represented by Prestige, we recommend directing all questions regarding salary to us, so we can negotiate the highest possible salary for you.
  9. Send a thank you note – Get business cards from everyone you meet, and send a thank you note to everyone. An email is better than nothing, but a handwritten card makes a much bigger impression. Be sure to thank them for their time and let them know you are interested in the position. Try to reference something specific from the interview and reiterate your qualifications, briefly.
  10. Follow up – If you’re being represented by Prestige, call your recruiter immediately after the interview while the details are fresh. If interviewing on your own, ask the interviewer what the next steps would be and when you can expect an update. If you have not heard anything within the timeframe given, it is okay to call or email once to ask for an update.