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How to Prepare for a Successful Interview
As a teacher or counselor, you understand the importance of preparing your students for job interviews. There are several determining factors in achieving a successful interview. Many times, students are unaware of these important guidelines. Below, the Health Careers Center has listed several guidelines that we feel will benefit your students in their interview process.

Before Your Job Interview


Your Resume

Believe it or not, the format of your resume can make or break your chances of scoring your dream job! Click here to view several sample resumes. Look carefully at the format and wording. The smallest adjustments here and there can give your resume the perfect makeover!



It is always good to know background information about the organization or company you are interviewing with. You want to sound and appear knowledgeable during your interview. This proves that you are really interested in the job. Be prepared to answer why you would want to work for that specific employer. This knowledge also gives you topics for questions you may wish to ask during the interview.



Set aside time to hold a mock interview. Research frequently asked interview questions and have a friend or family member quiz you. Practice makes perfect and creates a confidence when presenting yourself. Click here for several sample questions to begin your practice.


Dress for Success

It is important to have your clothes prepared for the interview a day or two in advance. Your attire needs to be ironed, business-like, and conservative. Hair needs to be properly groomed and nails should be trimmed and clean. Always remember that it is better to dress more professional rather than too casual. Appropriate attire serves as a compliment to the employer. It is highly recommended to wear a two-piece suit. This is always the best choice for both men and women. Navy, gray, and black are the most appropriate colors.


Prepare Material

Always have all materials collected and prepared for the interview a day or two prior. Include extra copies of your resume. You never know when more than one employer will be interviewing you and it helps to have multiple copies to hand out. Choose a good-quality paper. Office Supply stores usually have several types of resume paper to choose from. Also, remember to include copies listing your job references as well as multiple copies of your cover letter. Have all these materials contained within a folder or portfolio where they will remain clean and unwrinkled. It is also beneficial to have a notepad and pen on hand. You never know when you may need to take notes.



During Your Job Interview


The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Better to be early than to be late! Do not press your luck and arrive right on the dot. Always arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. You would rather wait in the car for a few minutes than be a few minutes late.



Manners and proper etiquette are huge determining factors in your job interview. Always show professionalism to everyone you may encounter within the interview. All employees' opinions, including the receptionist or the secretary, may count. Also, keep in mind that an employer's casual behavior does not mean you are able to approach them in the same way. Maintain an image of professionalism. Never address an employer by their first name, do not chew gum or smell of smoke, and always have your cell phone turned off. Never interrupt your interviewer and always be aware of your non-verbal behaviors. Maintain proper posture, smile often, keep comfortable eye contact, sit still, and refrain from fidgeting.


Dazzle Them

Confidence should be considered a requirement! It is very important that you do not come across as shy or timid. On the other hand, you must be careful not to appear aggressive, pushy, or egotistic. Never over-sell yourself! Remain confident and calm.



Listen carefully to questions asked. Answer with deep thought and honesty. It is okay if you are slow to speak. Make sure your thoughts are gathered before you attempt to answer a question. Always stay on subject and keep your answers straight and to the point. If you feel the question is confusing or vague, ask for them to clarify. 



As the interview meets an end, make sure you know the interviewer's next step in the hiring process. You will need to know when to expect to hear from them or if there are any future actions you are required to take. Thank them for their time, keep eye contact, and conclude with a firm handshake. Remain professional within your departure.



After Your Job Interview


An Interview in Review

Make mental and handwritten notes of important details from the interview that were discussed while they are fresh on your mind. You need to remember as much as possible especially if the company has a call-back interview process. Always send a thank you letter to the interviewer. This will reiterate your interest in the position. Keep the letter short and to the point. If you spoke with multiple interviewers, send them each a thank you letter.



























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