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Tips on Interviewing
By Anthony Michaelides, Director of Career Services
& Job Placement at College of the Canyons

How do you feel when you receive that phone call informing you that the company you applied to wants to interview you? Initially, you may be excited, however, in most cases it turns into nervousness. Here are some tips to help better prepare for your interview:

  • Research: Look up information on the company such as its size, how long in business, how many locations, number of employees, etc. Research can be done by talking to people who work there, or by going to the company website. If you still find nothing, as a last resort you may contact the company for information. By using this information during the interview and in your questions to them, it will show them your knowledge and interest in their company.
  • First Impressions: When you walk through the door at the interview will the employer be impressed with you? The tip here is to always look and dress professionally and conservatively. For men, a suit and tie; for women, a pantsuit or a dress below the knees. There are a few exceptions, such as a warehouse or construction job, in which you may want to tone it down a bit, however, the majority of employers will equate professional grooming and dress to a candidate serious about the position. Think of it as playing a part. You look and dress formal and play your part when you go to a wedding, a dinner party, or other special occasion. The interview is your special occasion.
  • Sell yourself: What you tell the employer is what they will know about you. If you forget to tell the employer something it may eliminate you. Do not make the mistake of assuming that you are covered just because you have everything on the resume. Many employers use the resume as a tool to decide whom they will interview and then put the resume aside and focus on how you present yourself and what skills you can verbally offer.

“Why should I hire you?” The answer to this commonly asked question should contain a balance of work experience, education and/or training, and personal qualities. An answer such as, “ Because I’m a hard worker, dependable, reliable, trustworthy, creative, and friendly” will not be enough by itself. You have given the employer only personal qualities and missed all of your work-related skills, the very thing they need to hire you.

Do’s: Show up at least 15 minutes early, bring your resume, give a firm handshake, have good eye contact, get a business card, and be relaxed.

Don’ts: Do not chew gum, wear heavy perfume or cologne, bring up personal situations or problems, and do not smoke before the interview.

Good luck!!

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