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Interviewing Do's and Dont's

Following these recommendations will prepare you for a successful interview. Of course, you should also contact your Parkwood Search Consultant, who will provide experienced, personalized tips to ensure that you make a great first impression.  Don’t forget - when you leave the interview, immediately call your recruiter to review while the experience is still fresh in your mind.

Do

  • Arrive 15 minutes early. Tardiness is never excusable.
  • Clarify questions. Answer the interviewer's questions as specifically as possible. Relate your skills and background to the position requirements throughout the interview.
  • Give your qualifications. Focus on accomplishments that are most pertinent to the job.
  • Be professional. Smile, make eye contact, and maintain good posture.
  • Anticipate tough questions. Prepare to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths.
  • Dress appropriately. Make your first impression a professional one.
  • Ask questions. An interview should be a mutual exchange of information, not a one-sided conversation.
  • Listen. Concentrate not only on the interviewer's words, but also on the tone of voice and body language. Once you understand how the interviewer thinks, pattern your answers accordingly and you will be able to establish a better rapport.
  • Express appreciation for the interviewer's time spent with you.
  • Ask for the interviewer’s business card for follow up.
  • Make sure that you have thoroughly answered these questions during the interview: "Why are you interested in our company?" and "What can you offer?"
  • Don't
  • Discuss salary in the interview.  Check with your recruiter how you should handle any direct questions on the subject.
  • Don't answer vague questions. Ask the interviewer to clarify fuzzy questions.
  • Don't interrupt the employer. If you don't listen, the interviewer won't either.
  • Don't be disrespectful. Don't smoke, chew gum or place anything on the interviewer's desk.
  • Don't be overly familiar, even if the interviewer is.
  • Don't wear heavy perfume or cologne. The interviewer may not share your tastes.
  • Don't ramble. Overlong answers can make you sound apologetic or indecisive.
  • Don't lie. Answer questions truthfully.
  • Don't express bitterness. Avoid derogatory remarks about present or former employers.

Leaving Your Interview

Job candidates often second-guess themselves after interviews. By asking good questions and closing strongly, you can reduce post-interview doubts. If you feel that the interview went well and you want to take the next step, express your interest to the interviewer.

Try an approach like the following: "After learning more about your company, the position and responsibilities, I believe that I have the qualities you are looking for. Are there any issues or concerns that would lead you to believe otherwise?"

This is an effective closing question because it opens the door for the hiring authority to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, you may be able to create an opportunity to overcome them, and have one final chance to dispel the concerns, sell your strengths and end the interview on a positive note.

Follow-up After Your Interview


After your interview, follow-up is critical. When you get in your car, immediately write down key issues uncovered in the interview. Think of the qualifications the employer is looking for and match your strengths to them in a “thank you” letter or email.  This should be written to each person you interviewed with and sent out no later than 24 hours after the interview. 

Don’t forget - when you leave the interview, immediately call your recruiter to review while the experience is still fresh in your mind.