9 tips for a successful interview

By Lauren Scafidi, Staff Writer

There’s no doubt about it, interviews are stressful. How do you make a lasting impression on someone you just met to get hired for a job? Follow these nine steps to help you breeze through your best interview yet.

1. Prepare

Do your homework. Look up the history of the company — when it was started, who have the owners been and if this company or similar companies received media attention recently — so you appear interested in the field and company.

Also do research on your interviewer if you’re able to obtain his or her name.

Interviewers are flattered when you’re able to, for example, make reference to a conference they spoke at recently.

2. Update your resume

Update your resume regularly to avoid forgetting to add any information. Include statistics, like “increased membership by 16%.”

3. Arrive early

Arriving early to an interview is an immediate show of good time management, which is a valuable trait to any employer. Conversely, arriving late to an interview communicates that your time is more important than the interviewer’s.

4.  Give a firm handshake

A firm handshake will show you are comfortable with yourself and, more importantly, confident. Look your interviewer in the eye when you shake hands and flash him or her a smile.

5. Brag about yourself

This is one of the few instances where it’s not only OK, but also encouraged to brag about yourself.

Inform your interviewer of your past experience and redeeming qualities to show that you are a potential asset to his or her company.

6.  Engage in conversation

Address your interviewer by his or her name every few questions. This will assure him or her you know exactly who you are talking to.

7. Ask questions

The end of an interview is typically signaled by the interviewer asking some variation of “do you have any questions for me?” Your answer should always be yes.

Ask him or her a question. You can inquire about what a typical day in the office looks like, or ask specific questions about things you already discussed, which will show that you were attentive during your interview. As the interview progresses, accumulate mental notes of the questions you will ask at the end.

8. Thank them

Thank your interviewer with a handshake and smile before you leave, and express your excitement to hear back from them.

9. Follow-up

Write your interviewer a thank you email, or better, a handwritten note. Taking the extra time out of your day to say thank you again shows your eagerness for the job.

Overall, be someone your interviewer will want to work with. You will likely spend more than 40 hours per week with your co-workers and your interviewer will want to hire someone he or she wouldn’t mind spending a lot of time with.

Most importantly, remember to relax and just be yourself.