The Job Interview

Job interviews can cause panic. A simple way to reduce that panic is Be Prepared. Here’s how:

Research the company first. For each company, find out the following:

    • What services does the company provide? Or, what products does it make?
    • How old is the company? How is it growing?
    • Have there been any recent articles in the newspaper about the company?
    • What is its location and size?
    • What are the career opportunities for this job?

You can find this information through a variety of resources. These include:

    • Friends or family already working in the field or even for that company.
    • Community organizations
    • One-Stop Career Centers
    • The Chamber of Commerce
    • The Internet

Practice interviewing.

  • If you go on enough job interviews, you will find that many of the questions are always the same. Before the real interview, role play with a friend or family member. Review the sample questions, and then write out your answers. Read them aloud. When you feel comfortable, ask a friend or family member to play the part of the interviewer and ask you the questions.
  • Also, be prepared to ask questions of your own. Most interviewers will ask if you have any questions. It’s always good to ask two or three questions, such as
    • Who will supervise me?
    • When will you be making a decision?
    • If you hire me, what is the first project I will be working on?
    • What are the opportunities for advancement?

  • Be positive

  • Greet the employer with a handshake. Smile, be polite, and be upbeat.

    Arrive early.
  • Plan on arriving 15 minutes early for your interview. You will have time to take a few deep breaths and to fill out an application if necessary.
  • Bring the company phone number and person’s name with you, along with your cell phone or enough change for a pay phone. A traffic jam can happen anytime and bring your plans to a dead stop.
  • Go to the interview alone. Don’t bring children, spouses, friends, or parents.
  • When the interview is over, thank the interviewer for his or her time. Ask for their business card.
  • Shake hands when you say goodbye.
  • Send a thank you note to the interviewer. This is a golden opportunity to remind him or her about skills you have that make you the ideal candidate for the job.
    • Neatly hand write or type the note.
    • Keep it short – no more than one page.
      • First paragraph: thank the interviewer for his or her time. Mention again that you are interested in the job.
      • Second paragraph: Highlight any skills you have that are needed to do the job.
      • Third paragraph: Include your address and phone number.
      • Sign the note with both your first and last name.

  • For more tips, find out what California Worksmart! has to say


Job Center

Back to Main St.

The Main Street project is a partnership of the Virginia Department of
Education, James Madison University and the Workforce Improvement Network
For more information about this project, contact Lisa Schick

Last Updated On Wednesday February 19, 2003 8:03 AM