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Interview Tips

When it comes to interviewing, be prepared. Plan ahead and practice answering potential interview questions, research the company ahead of time, and dress to impress. It's also important to be aware of different interview types so you're ready no matter what comes your way.

Research Company Prior to Interview
General Interview Tips
Phone Interview Tips
Face-to-Face Interview Tips
Interviewing via Skype or Video Conferencing
Dress for Success

Research Company Prior to Interview
Once you have your foot in the door with the first interview, capitalize on your opportunity by doing research on the company before the meeting. Having significant knowledge about a company will help you make a good first impression. Beyond a simple Google search, take time to gather important facts and details about the company and make sure you have a clear understanding of the products or services the company offers.

  • Read through the company website paying close attention to the "About Us" section for a profile of the company. Follow up by checking out the "News" or "Press Release" sections, if available, for information on new projects and changes within the company.
  • For more comprehensive information about a company or industry, search Hoovers.com.
  • Prepare a list of the products and services the company offers and see what markets it targets. It might also be helpful to search for information about the company's competitors.
  • Search online job networking resources and LinkedIn.com to see what people are saying about the company and to search for any contacts you may have who already work at the company. If appropriate, reach out to your contact with questions about the company. You may also want to check out the company blog if they have one, or blogs by employees of that company to get more information.
  • Knowing when and how to use the information you have collected is as important as having it at all. Make sure you present the information you've gathered in a positive way and do not overtly point out negative press or comments from employees you uncovered in your research. If you truly have concerns about what you learned, wait for a more appropriate time to bring up your fears or reconsider if the company would be a good fit for you.

General Interview Tips

  • Be prepared to sell your skills and strengths by planning ahead.
  • Know your resume. Your prospective employer will have a copy in hand so you need to be prepared to answer questions related to the profile you provided. Bring a backup copy just in case.
  • Be confident in your skills and abilities! After all, you've made it this far, which means the prospective employer has shown an interest in your resume.
  • Don't focus on the money and benefits - leave questions and discussion for the latter portion of the interview process, preferably after an offer has been made.
  • Reference the research you have on the company, which shows your interest in the position and your ability to be a proactive employee.
  • Avoid simple yes or no responses - use this opportunity to sell yourself.
  • Avoid "ah", "er", "um" - these habits are especially noticeable on the telephone. Practice!
  • Avoid interrupting or dominating the interview. Be a good listener!
  • If it becomes apparent that there are specific skills required that you don't excel in, change the focus of the interview by emphasizing your strengths.
  • Let the prospective employer know you want the position - but be careful not to beg.
  • Prepare several questions you would like to ask your prospective employer.
  • As the interview approaches conclusion, ask if your skills and abilities meet the company's needs. The response may provide you with an opportunity to clarify concerns or provide additional information.

Phone Interview Tips
Interviewing over the phone can be tricky because you only have your voice to sell yourself - that and your resume the interviewer will have in hand. Think you're at a disadvantage? Not in the least - as long as you are prepared and well organized.

  • Prepare your environment for the phone interview. Choose a room away from distractions such as doorbells, pets, and family noises.
  • Keep a copy of your resume in front of you at all times.
  • Have a pen and paper ready to take notes.
  • Smile - it will come through in your voice!
  • Speak directly into the phone.
  • Don't smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink anything during your phone interview.
  • If you need time to think about an answer to the question, say so to avoid "dead air time."

Face-to-Face Interview Tips
How your present yourself, both verbally and visually, is important when interviewing face-to-face with your prospective employer.

  • First impressions are important! Dress at the level of, or a step above, the required daily dress of the company. For more information, see "Dress for Success" below.
  • Have a pen and paper ready to take notes. Keep a copy of your resume in front of you - you may need to refer to it during the interview.
  • Avoid smoking just before your interview. Smoke will stick to your clothing and may be distracting for some.
  • Do not chew gum during your interview. Chewing gum is not a professional activity and should never be done in a professional and serious environment.
  • Smile and make eye contact with your prospective employer!
  • Know your route to the interview and arrive at least 15 minutes early. You never know when you will encounter a traffic jam, a car problem, or hit every red light in town. None of these should ever be used as an excuse for arriving late for an interview!

Interviewing via Skype or Video Conferencing
As technology continues to advance, more and more employers are turning to video conferencing systems and online Web tools like Skype for help interviewing out-of-town candidates. While these tools can be an economic alternative to exorbitant travel costs, using these resources for interviewing can take some getting used to, so be sure to prepare ahead of time. Even on video it's possible to make a positive or negative first impression.

  • Download the video software and test it on your computer well in advance of the scheduled interview. It's also important to create a professional username.
  • Come prepared with notes and a copy of your resume, plus one to quickly email to the interviewer if needed. Also, turn off any email prompts and remove other potential distractions. Similar to phone interviews, make sure you have a quiet environment available for your interview.
  • You should be dressed as if the interview was face-to-face with professional attire. Stay away from white and bright colors as these can be distracting to the viewer. You'll also want to stay clear of clothing with tight patterns like small dots.
  • Make sure there is no bright light (like from a window) behind you, as this will only darken your face. Try to find soft overhead lighting that will illuminate your face instead.
  • Sit tall in your chair and angle your knees to the corner of your computer screen, then turn your head slightly back to look at the camera. This is a more professional, visually appealing pose, similar to when you are being photographed.
  • Remember what is behind you will also be visible on camera. Make sure the room you are in is tidy with no inappropriate items on display. Try to position yourself in front of something warm and inviting like a plant, book shelf, or a nice piece of artwork.
  • Remember to smile and look directly at the camera when talking. This is how "eye contact" is made on camera.
  • Practice with a friend before the interview. Not only will this help you become more comfortable answering questions on camera, it will give you a chance to test the audio and lighting in your room. Besides this, be sure to do all the standard pre-interview prep work to ensure you present yourself as confident and professional.

Dress for Success
You are what you wear - especially when it comes to an interview! First impressions are made in as little as 30 seconds and you want to project the image of an employee your prospective company will want to hire.

When you look good, you're more confident. Those who carry themselves with confidence and convey a likeable personality are more likely to appear as an attractive candidate, regardless of their physical qualities.

How can you look your best and project that winning quality? Start with a smile followed by a positive attitude! These are your most effective yet most inexpensive components of a successful interview.

Interview Attire
Remember, you not only represent yourself during your interview and at work, you represent Celebrity Staff. Your clothing should reflect professionalism and confidence.

  • Dresses and suits are always considered appropriate professional attire as well as a dress and jacket combination. Keep it simple, tailored, and select conservative colors.
  • Avoid loud or flashy styles or colors.
  • Women: avoid heavy makeup or perfume.