The Face-To-Face Interview:

The following tips have been created by CSI to assist in successful interviews!  

Here are some suggestions to help in preparation for your interviews. We ask that you review them carefully. Feel free to print these lists out to review at your convenience. We hope that you find something here that will help make your interviews more successful.

The Five "P's":

For successful career development, always be: 

  • Punctual 
  • Polite
  • Professional
  • Positive
  • Pro-Active
  • Before the interview

    You should think about how you will address the topics most likely to come up. Write down your ideas, and bring your notes to the interview.

    • Think about how would answer typical questions such as:
    • What are your career goals over the next two, five, and ten years?
    • What kind of job are you looking for?
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
    • What do you know about our company?
    • Why did you choose your particular vocation?
    • What are your qualifications?
    • Who has been your favorite supervisor? Why?
    • Who has been your least favorite supervisor? Why?
    • Prepare a list of five to ten specific qualifications you have for this particular position being discussed. Think analytically of how your past experience relates to the position.
    • Think of topics you may want to bring up with the interviewer. They could include:
    • a detailed description of the position
    • the reason the position is available
    • anticipated training and orientation programs
    • advanced training programs available for those who demonstrate outstanding abilities
    • company growth plans
    • your potential career path within the company

    Days before your interview:

    • Research the company by visiting their website or going to the library

    The day before your interview:

    • Prepare your business clothes
    • Prepare a folder with copies of your current resume and your professional reference list including daytime phone numbers
    • Arrange your schedule so you can arrive 15 minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable.
    • Get a good night’s rest

    At the office

    Turn off your cell phone, PDA, or beeper before announcing yourself to the receptionist.
    Arrive 15-20 minutes early and be on your best manners with the receptionist and everyone else you meet. If asked to fill out an application form, you should fill it out in its entirety. Do not write “See resume” anywhere on the form. Because you shouldn’t discuss salary or benefits early in the hiring process, put “negotiable” in the salary requirement blank. While standing up, smiling, and shaking hands firmly, you should greet the interviewer by his or her surname. If you are not sure of the pronunciation, don’t be embarrassed to ask for it to be repeated.

    During the interview

    It’s polite to wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Body language is important, so sit upright in your chair and look alert and interested. Maintain good eye contact and don’t fidget. During the interview, try to be a good listener as well as a good talker. Even if the interviewer smokes and offers you a cigarette, you shouldn’t smoke during an interview, and never chew gum during the interview.

    During the conversation, your goal should be to communicate to the interviewer that the organization needs you for the position. Follow the interviewer’s leads, but early in the interview try to get him or her to describe the position and the duties so that you can continually relate your background and skills to the position. Efficiently explain your answers whenever possible, and limit simple yes or no responses. Simply, answer questions truthfully, frankly, and as concisely as possible.

    Keep the conversation positive and non-confrontational. Don’t make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers. If the interviewer steers the conversation into politics or another sensitive topic, answer the questions honestly but avoid saying any more than necessary. Always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing.

    If you get the impression that the interview is not going well and that you have already been rejected, don’t let your discouragement show. Once in a while, an interviewer who is genuinely interested hiring you may seem to discourage you in order to test your reaction.

    Closing the interview

    If you are interested in the position, politely ask for it, or if this interview is one in a series, ask for the next interview. Should the employer come forward and offer you the job and you want it, feel free to accept it on the spot. If you wish some time to think it over, be courteous by setting a firm date when you will provide an answer.

    In most cases, you won’t be offered a position immediately after the interview even if you’re the front-runner. The interviewer will often want to communicate with colleagues first or interview more applicants before making a final decision. Thank the interviewer for his or her time and considering you for the job.