You probably have heard multiple processes on how to go through an interview cycle and the ins and outs of a good interview. Some are based on your career field, major or just helpful hints to make the process easy. I have heard lots of these and have applied them to many of my own interviews, but along the way I have come up with some of my own steps that have really helped me to achieve success. This step-by-step might not be exactly your style, but any tips are good tips!

            Step #1: Dress to Impress: When going through an interview process, the one important thing right off the bat is what you are wearing. As much as most don’t like to hear it, most people’s first impressions come in the first minute or so and a lot of that is based on your dress attire. Men should almost always wear a shirt and tie to an interview and could occupancy that with a suit jacket. Women have it a little tougher, but should consider an appropriate blouse, skirt or pants, and a cardigan or blazer. Both men and women should stay away from wearing strong perfume, because strong perfume can cause employers to focus on your smell rather than you as a person.

Step #2: Put a Smile on it: In my experience, people love it when you smile. I had an employer tell me one time that my smile alone was one of the best parts of my first impression. Most people believe that smiling makes someone more appealing and open to others. Most employers are looking for someone who can interact well with others and smiling is one of the first things that will show them that. 

Step #3: Pay Attention: I know this might seem like a no brainer, but you would not believe how many people will almost “check out” during an interview. I know from past experience that even my own mind would float to what I was going to do the next day or what I was going to wear the next day. You should not do this. If your brain starts to wonder, check it back into place and focus on the person that is interviewing you and realize that this interview may put you ahead of everyone else. 

Step #4: Be Personable: I know that most interview processes would never tell you this but I think this is one of the main reasons why I have gotten some of my jobs I have applied for. Interviews can be a boring process, and most employers have to go through stacks of people to fill one position. One of the main things that can set you are apart from others in that stack is to be personable. When I am in an interview, I most always will tell a personal story about my family, previous work experience, or my friends. Granted these stories shouldn’t be inappropriate, but if you can relate a question to a relative personal story most people will respond positively towards that. In my interview for my internship at Kindred Healthcare, I remember I related a question back to my brother and something we had done together for my parents. When you bring these relevant stories out in an interview, most employers will respond positively to it. Work places are not supposed to just be stiff boxes where you go in at 8 and come out at 5, but places where coworkers can communicate and interact with others for the betterment of the company.

Step #5: Always Say Thank You: I know you have probably heard this over and over again, but writing hand written thank you notes is one of the best things you can do. Employers believe that this shows you took time out of your day to write them and thank them for that they did for you. It is one of the sure fire ways to set you apart.

All these steps combine will help to ensure a successful interview. If you need more help with interview tips feel free to email Ann Zeman or Todd Reale for any questions. Good luck!