Interview skills

First impressions count


Remember to ask ahead of time what the expectation is on your attire. It is always preferable to over-dress for an interview unless you know the company has a strict casual environment. Make sure you are well groomed. If you are a coffee drinker, smoker, or have lunch/breakfast prior to an interview, be aware of your breath. Use a mint or brush your teeth prior to your interview. Do NOT chew gum during an interview. Do not wear perfume/cologne or wear little enough that someone cannot smell it unless they are closer than one foot from you. Think about how you appear when you are confident and on top of the world. Head high, standing straight and tall, a slight smile, relaxed.


Arrive for your interview at least 5 minutes early but no more than 10 minutes early. Everyone has their watch set differently, and giving a 5 minute cushion is a good idea. Some interviewers are also very time-sensitive and notice if you're even one minute late. However, arriving more than 10 minutes early will often pressure the first interviewer if they are not ready for you yet. Plan to arrive 15 to 20 minutes early in the parking lot and enter the building about 5 minutes early. If you are running late or think you might be late, call ahead of your arrival to let them know.


When introducing yourself to each interviewer, give your first and last name, make eye contact, and let the interviewer be the person to initiate a handshake. When shaking hands, match the pressure of their handshake. Do not be limp or unusual with the way you shake hands. Wait a moment and smile at the interviewer after meeting them.


Your body language tells a lot about you in an interview. Sit up straight. Lean slightly forward in your chair. Keep eye contact with your interviewer as much as possible (especially be aware of this when you are the one speaking as many people make eye contact when listening but not when speaking). Stay alert. When you go through a long interview process, you can sometimes start to show weariness. Make sure you project energy and do not appear tired. Try to mirror your interviewer's demeanor and style. Be yourself, but let them set the tone of the interview and match their energy level and body language. Never swear or use casual words like "yeah" and "uh-huh", even if your interviewer swears and speaks casually.

Take Notes

Bring a notepad or portfolio and a pen to take notes during each interview. This is a very effective way to show your interest in the opportunity and your attention to detail. 

To find out more about how to get the best from your interview click on: How can I interview well?

To save or view your choices and results you must sign in or register (takes 1 minute).

Sign in Register