Important Things to Remember About Interviewing

Landing an interview is a vital step when you're job hunting, but how you conduct yourself in the interview is usually the deciding factor in whether or not you get the job. By preparing ahead of time, you'll be able to put your best foot forward with a prospective employer.

Preparing for the Interview

Be prepared to exhibit knowledge about a company in your interview. Investigate its mission, goals and hierarchy so you can expound on what you can bring to the company. Employment website Indeed recommends doing some basic research on the position you're applying for so you can tailor answers to questions about your skills and how they fit the job. The Wall Street Journal suggests that you practice interviewing with a friend or family member until you're comfortable responding to queries, making sure to include commonly asked interview questions.

First Impressions

No matter how cliche it sounds, a good first impression on an interviewer is crucial to your chances for receiving a job offer. Arrive a few minutes early to exhibit promptness. Wear a professional and conservative outfit even if you're interviewing with a company known for a casual dress code. If the company is decidedly casual, a suit without a tie for men or a print blouse for women can soften the look without dressing down too much. Offer a copy of your resume to the interviewer. She will probably already have one, but this shows you think about details.

Body Language

According to Forbes, a face-to-face conversation is 35 percent verbal, 65 percent non-verbal. Your body language matters, and its one of the most important things to remember in an interview. How you hold yourself can betray nervousness if you fidget or give a negative impression if you slouch. A firm handshake and good posture display confidence and professionalism. Keep good eye contact during an interview and sit straight in your chair, leaning forward slightly to show interest. Keep your hands loose and don't clench your fists.

Interview Questions

Be honest when answering questions, but also remember to be tactful. Try to put a positive spin on negative information, such as explaining a conflict with a past supervisor or if you were ever fired from a past job. Tell your side of the story but avoid criticizing previous employers. Stay on topic when answering questions and keep your answers clear and concise. Use industry jargon sparingly unless it's clear that the interviewer is familiar with it and wants to know the depth of your knowledge.

Closing the Interview

One of the most important things to remember in an interview is closure, after all the questions have been asked and answered. Thank the interviewer for her time and shake her hand at the close of the interview. Ask her about the hiring process and what the next steps are, expressing your decided interest in the job.

After the interview, send your interviewer an email or handwritten note thanking her again for taking the time to meet with you and letting her know that you're excited about the prospect of working for the company and that you're available for a follow-up interview.