Interviewing for Jobs
Interview Tips for Applicants
The interview process provides employers the opportunity to get to know the applicant. It allows the employer to narrow down the pool of applicants by getting to know them and their ability to fulfill the job’s requirements.
- In Person - the most commonly used kind of interview. Requires both the interviewer and applicant to be present in the room as the interviewer asks the applicant questions. In these interviews, applicants need to be dressed to impress as the employer is seeing you in person for the first time.
- Zoom - Zoom interviews have become more popular as they do not require both the interviewer and applicant to be in the same physical building. The applicant can be in a different city, state, or even country.
- Voice Advantage - This is the newest type of interview that does not require face-to-face interaction. There are two separate processes. Before the interview, you will answer a brief questionnaire about your previous work experience and history. Next, you will receive a call and answer questions from an automated voice messaging system. The system will record your answers and transfer the conversation to the employer. View this example of a voice advantage interview.
What to Wear
Your attire for the interview depends on the job you are interviewing for. For example, when interviewing for certain positions such as a host or hostess at a nice restaurant, you will want to dress more professionally. Whereas if you're interviewing for a more casual place you can dress more casually. It’s important to research the company beforehand so that you have a better idea of how to dress for the interview.
First impressions go a long way, so dress to impress and have a smile on your face when you walk in!
After researching, if you're still confused, remember it’s better to be dressed up than dressed down. In any interview, dress to impress and look professional. Also keep in mind that your clothes should be clean, with no wrinkles, and no stains. How to Dress for a Job Interview: This has a detailed description of the various ways one can dress for an interview whether it be a formal interview or one that’s more casual. It gives explanations for why you wear certain pieces and explanations on why you should avoid certain types of clothes.
- Dresses: The dress length must end at least right above the knee or below. If the dress does not have sleeves, wear a jacket or cardigan to cover the shoulder.
- Skirts: same rule from dresses apply here -the skirt should end right above or below the knee. If you choose to wear a dress or skirt, it would be a good idea to wear pantyhose that matches your skin color underneath.
- Pants should be paired with a matching belt
- Blouses: the same rule for dresses also applies here -if the blouse does not have sleeves, be sure to wear a jacket or cardigan with it. Also, tuck in your blouse if it is long enough.
- Suit jacket: always adds a nice touch of professionalism. A suit jacket is necessary if the top does not have sleeves.
- Shoes: wear what’s comfortable to you. Flats are always a good idea, but if you want to branch out to heels keep them under 2 inches.
- Jewelry: keep the jewelry limited and simple.
- Suit jacket and tie to match: a matching suit and tie always make a great first impression. It shows the employer you are organized and professional. A jacket should also be worn if you choose to wear a short sleeve shirt (unless it’s a nice polo short-sleeve). A tie is not necessary but adds a professional flair.
- Long sleeve shirt that matches the suit: if you choose to not wear a jacket, a long-sleeve button-up will pair nicely.
- Polo: if you wish to wear a short-sleeve shirt, try to wear a nice polo. A jacket is not required when wearing a polo.
- Pants/Slacks and a matching belt: a belt is a requirement, but it is highly suggested so that you do not have to worry about your pants falling down.
- A watch if you would like: make sure it does not make any sound.
Be Prepared With These Helpful Tools
Neutral colors are considered the most professional. Try to wear neutrals such as white, navy, black, gray, or khaki.
What Not to Wear
What to Bring
How to Speak
Final Ways to Prepare for the Interview
- What are your strengths?
- What do you consider your weaknesses?
- Do you have any experience in (insert job here)?
- Why are you looking for a job?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- Why should we hire you?
- Study the company; learn what you can about them (their missions statement, what they do) and learn as much as you can about the position you are applying for
- Have questions!! Having questions shows you’ve done your research and are just as curious about them as they are about you.
- For example, you can ask what other employees enjoy about the job.
- Reflect on your strengths and experiences relevant to the job you are applying for
- Plan commute ahead of time to avoid traffic and arrive on time
- Remember: on time actually means 10-15 min early!
- Remember positive body language! If you need clarification please see the body language tab.
- Turn your cell phone on airplane mode or off to limit distractions
- Listen to the question asked and answer that one
- Do not interrupt the interviewer or talk over them
- Thank the interviewer for their time
- Ask when you can expect to hear back on if you have been elected for the job
- Ask for the interviewer's contact info: only use it if you need to follow up with any questions you did not ask during the interview
- Send a thank you note or email once you get home: going the extra mile can separate you from the other applicants.
How Anxiety Can Affect Speech Patterns from the CalmClinic. CalmClinic is an online resource for mental health patients. They have different tips and tricks to help combat different diagnoses as well as other resources the patient can access. This particular article contains information regarding speaking calmly while facing anxiety. They have different ways to fight the anxiety before speaking as well as when you are speaking.
Interview Tips for Young Adults with Disabilities from INCLUDEnyc has information regarding proper interview etiquette before, during, and after the interview. It is very detailed in how the interviewee is to behave and address the interviewer.
Page last updated October 21, 2022