Parts of the Interview
Effective Interviewing Guide


  • Most interviewers take the first ninety seconds or so to set you at ease and give you a fast “once over.”
  • The early dialogue, facial expressions, small talk, and your responsiveness all help set the mood and tone for the following twenty-five minutes.
  • The establishment of good rapport in the first few moments of the interview is crucial to achieving a positive outcome.
  • Begin from the onset to personalize the interview. What makes you better or different? Why you? Remember your small talk; you may want to build on that when you wrap up.
  • Greet with eyes and smile.
  • Use a firm handshake. The interviewer may or may not offer to shake hands.
  • Present a pleasant, relaxed, confident approach.
  • Be assertive, but not obnoxious.
  • No first name unless asked to (“call me Janet”).
  • Personalize and humanize the exchange.

Giving Information

  • An interview may start with “tell me about yourself.” You should practice doing a brief verbal résumé. This is a request for your initial “pitch.” While delivering your background information, highlight key skills or accomplishments you want them to focus on. Remember to connect your experiences with the employer’s needs!
  • Prior to interviewing, you should go through your résumé entry by entry and tailor key points that relate to the job objective.
  • Keep yes/no answers to a minimum. It is a good rule to give the interviewer more information than is asked for each time you respond, i.e., “Yes, I went to the GSM   because it had a fine reputation in Finance.”
  • Usually toward the end of the interview, the interviewer will say: “Is there anything else I should know about you?” Cover salient points that the interviewer has not explored which show how you fit the job requirements. Put yourself in the interviewer’s chair: what else would I want to know about me? This is your opportunity to “close” the interview with your sales pitch again. Reiterate your interest in the job and how you will contribute to the   organization. Leave no doubt in their mind that you want this job!
  • Keep your responses concise and no longer then one to two minutes in length. Focus on the key points and answer the question that is asked.
  • Be sure to use “I” statements about your role in a group activity. Don’t assume the interviewer will know your degree of participation if you say “we.” Take ownership of  what you’ve done!

Getting Information

  • Most good interviewers at some point will provide you with an opportunity for questions. Here are some tips in preparing your questions. Be sensitive to time pressures by focusing on only the most relevant questions in the first interview.
  • Begin your questioning in the first half of the interview.
  • Questions should be sincere (not staged)
  • Show that you have investigated the company and job.
  • Don’t ask questions easily answered in the job description or corporate literature.
  • The more specific your questions, the better.If interviewing with a functional manager, explore his/her career path.
  • Stay away form salary, benefits, vacations, etc.
  • Query about recent news items, stock performance, etc.
  • Establish the next step in the recruiting process.

The Close

  • If you are interested in the job, LET THE INTERVIEWER KNOW! Reiterate your relevant skills directly. “Connect the dots” for the employer. The closing, done correctly, can have a powerful and very positive impact on the interviewer-you will leave them with a final impression of how much you want the job, and how much you will benefit them. YOUR INTERVIEW IS NOT OVER UNTIL YOU HAVE CLOSED.
  • The pleasant enthusiastic tone you set should continue with a smile and sincere thank you for the opportunity to interview.
  • Establish what will happen next and try to get a time frame. (When may I expect to hear from you? If I don’t, may I call you?)


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