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Employer Interview Guide to Success

Before you walk into an employer interview, you had better do your homework and research on all the information about the specific company you are interviewing with long in advance.  You should know something about the history of the company – i.e., how long have they been in business?  Check the stability of the company and their financial success.  Is the company on the way up or down in their industry?  Finally, try to find insights into the corporate culture of the company to make sure you will feel comfortable in the environment personally.

Generic Interview Tips

These are company interview tips – important things that can make the interview go well for the person being interviewed and generic tips that apply for all interviews:

Tip # 1 Research the company and know its history, where it is headquartered, how it started, mission statement and last quarter earnings.  Some companies have very interesting histories.

Tip # 2 Body language is very important – sit up tall, be calm, speak in a clear voice with no mumbling and don’t be chewing any gum

Tip # 3 Never be late for an interview no matter what company.  This is the single worse impression you can give an employer who is thinking about hiring you.

Tip # 4 Be cheerful, enthusiastic about the interview and always smile

Tip # 5 Stay focused on the interview, look the interviewer in the eyes – don’t be looking around at what else is happening in the background

Tip # 6 Ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you.

Tip # 7 Turn your cell phone off before you get out of your car – in fact, leave the cell phone in the car.

 Tip # 8 Hypothetical situation questions are not uncommon to better measure work ethic and personality traits.

Tip # 9 Keep your answers positive – never be negative during an interview

Tip # 10 Be certain to study any possible questions and have answers well-formed for the interview

Tip # 11 You are always going to be asked about customer service – be certain you have a good definition of what good customer service means to you

Tip # 12 If you have face piercings be certain to take the jewelry out

Tip # 13 Males should always look clean cut with no facial hair or long hair styles

Tip # 14 If you are a smoker, do not smoke on the way to the interview or when walking from the parking area – your interviewer quite possibly could be a non—smoker.

Tip # 15 Prepare for the interview by reviewing your experience, gathering references and being prepared to show a commitment to customer service

Tip # 16 Most companies today drug test, do a background check and check references

Tip # 17 Some companies also do skill assessment tests and behavior tests

Tip # 18 Do not wear any cologne or aftershave – it might remind the interviewer of someone they would rather forget.

Tip # 19 Be aware of your personal hygiene.

Tip #20 After in interview when you get home, send a thank you email to the person that interviewed you tell them how interested you are in the position and thank them for the time they took interviewing you.  You can get their email address by asking them for one of their business cards before leaving the interview.

Although some of the tips seem simple, they were actually compiled from HR professionals.  Often a person who has the decision to hire might overlook an applicant because of some petty reason that just rubs them the wrong way.

Generic Interview Questions

These interview questions are very important and you need to have well formulated answers for them.

  • Why are you interested in our company?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What hours and days are you available to work?
  • What would you do if you saw a co-worker stealing while at work?
  • What is your definition of good customer service?
  • When did you exceed expectations on a job and what did your boss say about it?
  • Are you willing to either open the store or close?
  • Are you a leader or a follower and give me an example?
  • Do you have a reliable means of getting to work every day?
  • At your last job, not counting vacation – how many days did you miss?
  • Tell me about your past work history?
  • Tell me about your education?
  • Tell me your worse and best characteristic or trait.
  • Can you explain the gaps in your work history for me?
  • Tell me what your past work experience has involved?
  • Can you remain calm and polite when you have a customer who is angry or drunk?
  • Tell me when you ever worked with a person that you did not get along well with and how did you handle it?
  • What are your life goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

Generic Interview Process

The actual interview process that you experience from company to company may have some unique variations, but the process in general will be the same.  You will speak to a company representative either on the telephone or in person.  You will be given the chance to show you are a good fit for the company or organization by first answering their questions, and then asking a few good questions of your own.  Rarely are you hired on the spot.  You are usually contacted either by telephone, email, or mail with the hiring decision.

Interview Attire

What to wear is very important because often the first impression a manager has of you is the impression that will be remembered.

What to Wear

Interview attire for entry level positions is usually business casual (nice shirt and dress slacks) and for management position the dress is business. Women should never wear opened toed shoes.

What to Bring to the Interview

Always bring to an interview pen and paper to take notes, driver’s license and social security card.  If this is a management position or if you have one – bring a new copy of your resume.

Some Generic Positions

These are positions that are often open in some companies:  registered nurse, pharmacist, software developer, medical assistant, database administrator, web developer, computer systems analyst, physical therapist, computer programmer, occupational therapist, maintenance and repair worker, elementary school teacher, clinical lab technician, speech-language pathologist, paramedic, meeting, convention and event planner, school counselor, social worker, sports coach, sales representative, accountant, receptionist, financial advisor, customer service rep.and  HR specialist.

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Interview Tips for Jobs at Top Employers