Human resource professionals spend at least 60% of their time interviewing. Their job is to find out how suited you are for the available job. Be smart and paint a picture that puts you at the top of their priority list.

  • Tell interviewers what they want to hear, not what you want to say. If an interviewer asks about your training and experience, answer the question clearly and directly. “I took two graphic design classes in high school. During my last semester, I spent four months in an internship for a large, graphic design firm under the supervision of the lead designer.” Not:  “I took some graphic classes in high school, and then I was an intern at a design firm.”
  • Add value about yourself. “By the end of my internship, I was working without supervision and needed only final approval of my designs.”
  • Stay away from self-interest questions early in the interview.  Ask questions about the company, the work environment, the types of tasks to be done, and the expectations. “Will the person hired for this position work with a team usually, or on individual projects? Not: “What is the salary? How much vacation would I get? How many holidays are given?
  • Listen carefully to what the interviewer says and provide feedback to show you’re following the conversation. “You’re saying that the length of my workday would vary, depending on the workload. This is not a 9 to 5 job, is that right?”
  • Stand immediately when the interviewer indicates the interview is over and make a gracious, strong last comment. “I appreciate the time you spent with me. My skills seem to be a good match for the job. I would enjoy working here.”
  • Offer a firm, confident handshake and leave. 

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