A Guide to a Successful Interview

First impressions are everything! It has been scientifically proven individuals make assumptions about your character within 7 seconds of meeting you.  The main purpose in a job interview for an employer is to explore key skills and characteristics in the applicant and to determine if those are suitable for the requirements in the profile of the offered job position, so it should come to no surprise that you can make or break career paths depending on how effectively you communicate who you are, your competences and your professional aspirations, and most importantly your aptitude for problem solving and added value you may represent for that company. Here are some tips, strategies, and links to make this daunting process a little easier.

Be Prepared For Different Types of Interview.

  • Presential interviews are conducted in the same space with the employer or recruiting agency
  • Videoconference interviews are very common in long-distance job searches and they are carried out through internet means like Skype or Zoom.
  • Telephonic interviews are often interviews are often conducted by employers in the initial interview round of the hiring process for screening purposes.

You can find more information and strategies for a successful performance in the different types of interviews following these links:

5 Ways to Ace the Video Conference Interview

Phone Interview Tips: 10 Keys to succeed in a telephonic interview

Start by Studying the Company  

  • Thoroughly review the company’s website and social media. This will give you valuable insight on how the company wants to be perceived and the type of applicant they seek to hire.
  • Research the company’s rich origin, its current standing in the market, and publically announced shifts for the company. This will show genuine interest about position, as well as the company. 

Avoid Typical Interview Blunders

  • Sometimes questions will stump you, because of how broad your answer can potentially be. So here are some templates to run through to make the likelihood of stumbling less probable.

         Mock Questions 

  • Many mistakes can be avoided if you are self-aware of them, so here is a link to the 10 most common mistakes most people generally make during this process and how to avoid them.
 

Hold a Trial Interview

  • Ask a close friend, parent, or mentor to conduct a mock interview. Preferably someone who has some insight on the recruiting and hiring individuals for a company.
  • Be mindful of the body language you are portraying throughout the interview, because something as small as a firm handshake can give insight on your character. Here are some helpful links that give insight on that.

         Body Language Tips for Your Next Job Interview

         7 body language tips to impress at your next job interview

  • Also be ready to talk about your skills in a professional and organized manner, this is a key part of the job interview process where your assets are promoted, and communicating them in the right way may be pivotal for getting or losing the job. The following link to the CSUCI Career Development Services provides a great tool to categorize your skills and present them in a professional manner during an interview.

         OnLine Skills Search (PDF, 549KB)

Get Ready for the Interview a Day in Advanced 

  • Try on your interview attire the day before the interview, and place it apart and ready, pack your essentials in your bag or briefcase, confirm the address for the interview and trace the route to get there according your mean of transportation, double-check your resume and print enough number of copies for the interview, plan your breakfast and go to bed early in order to promote a good rest.

Professional/Casual Interview Attire

Professional vs.Casual Interview Attire
Image by: championpersonnel.net
 

Companies may have different dress codes according their policies, business type, or services, so it is advised to research in advance what is an appropriate attire for the interview, but in general, next there are some general criteria for a job interview dress code.

Men's Professional Interview AttireWomen's Professional Interview Attire
  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase
  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse makeup and perfume
  • Manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

The following link provides additional information about the appropriate ways to dress for a job interview:

The Best Outfits for Job Interviews

Moreover, CSUCI offers a great support for students and alumni by providing access to professional clothing at no cost through recycled and budget-friendly fashion. Check out the Dress for Success section of the Career Development Services through the link:

Dress for Success

Finally, here it is a summary of the essential points to keep in consideration before a job interview: - Prepare yourself intensively rehearsing all the most common items in a job interview - Don’t wait until the last minute to get directions for the interview location - Drive to the location the day before to get an idea of how long it should take to get there and leave 10 minutes earlier than necessary to ensure you arrive on time - This will allow you to relax release any built up stress before the big interview.

 

 

Developed by: Alfredo Alarcon, Rogelio Luna-Méndez

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