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Acing Your Next Job Interview

Just graduate from a career school? Ready to land that first job and want to ace your job interview? Here are five tips on how to do your best on your next job interview.

Tip 1: Do Your Research

Know as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with, the interviewer who is talking with you, and the industry the company is in. The interviewer may ask you questions about the company, industry, or competitors to make sure you are really interested in this job.

Learn who the key players are within an organization and those employees who hold important positions in the company. These individuals can be managers, department directors, and especially the CEO/president of the company. It’s also a good idea to check out what these individuals say on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn what employees think about the company online.

Here are a few places to do your research and prepare for your job interview:

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Find statistics about your desired industry, including trends, projections for growth, and layoff data.

D & B Hoovers – Search Hoovers’ extensive database of companies and organizations for key information about potential employers. You can also research industries and learn about top players and industry growth indicators.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the internet with more than 500 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

Tip 2: Dress for the Job You Want

Always dress one level higher than your interviewer. If the interviewer is a casual dresser, consider wearing a suit to your job interview. Show that you are serious about getting the job, and make a good first impression.

Tip 3: Make a Good First Impression

Making a good first impression can be the key to landing that job. Show up to your interview a little early. Nothing conveys a good employee like being punctual. Don’t forget to smile. An enthusiastic attitude is highly favored by employers. Be nice to the receptionist as she or he may have some say in whether or not you get hired.

Bring only what you need to the job interview. A copy of your résumé, a pen, and maybe one other item. Don’t chew gum during your interview. Turn off your cellphone so it doesn’t ring in the middle of your job interview. Show respect to your potential employer by leaving your cellphone alone during the job interview.

Don’t be afraid to extend your hand first for a handshake. Show the interviewer that you are ready to go and enthusiastic to be there.

Tip 4: Interview the Interviewer

Don’t forget that you are also evaluating the company and the interviewer. The interviewer will take it as a good sign when you ask important questions. Don’t just say, “No, I don’t have any questions for you.” Make sure to do your research on the company, and come with relevant questions to ask. The company may want you to work there, but it may not be the right fit for you.

Tip 5: Send a Thank You Letter

Many job candidates think the interview is over when they leave the office. Don’t forget to send the interviewer a thank you letter reviewing all of the assets that you would bring to the job that was discussed during your interview. This is also a good time to add anything you may have forgotten to ask about during the interview. Also, make sure to close with a request to continue the process. Whether you ask for the next interview or offer to provide references, make sure it is understood that you are interested in the job.

Going to an interview can be stressful. Take a breath and be prepared. The interviewer understands you are going to be nervous. Being nervous shows that you are really interested in the job and that it means something to you.

While you are a student at Hunter Business School, the Career Services department will work with you on résumé writing, networking, and interviewing skills. Career Services advisors will also help you with your job search and with contacting employers for interviews as you are preparing to graduate. Career Services offers continuous assistance to graduates of Hunter Business School.