How to be successful in your next job interview
Tips to help you at your next job interview
What is a job interview?
A job interview is a conversation between you and the employer. During an interview the employer will ask you many questions about your work experience in the past, your education and goals.
During the interview you will want to make a good impression. This means that you should try to be very friendly and show the employer that you are a good person for the job.
Here are Tips for your next Job Interview
1. Research the company on Google and LinkedIn
Before the interview, find out as much information as you can about the company. Search on Google and LinkedIn to find answer to these questions:
- Who is interviewing you?
- What are the company’s goals?
- How many people work at the company?
- Has the company been in the news? Search the name in Google and then click “News.” If you see good news about the company, you can talk about it in your interview.
By researching the company, you will show the interviewer you are interested in the job.
2. Review your resume.
You have already made and sent in your resume. (You can learn how to make a resume on our How to find a job page). It is important that you read you resume before the interview. You should be able to describe the companies you worked or volunteered for in the past.
3. Practice answering interview questions
Ask a friend, neighbor, or your English teacher to practice answering interview questions with you. Here are some common interview questions and ideas to help you answer them.
Common interview question: Tell us about yourself.
For this question, you should talk about: your past jobs and professional experience. You should tell the interviewer why you want the job you are applying for. You should only talk about personal things if they are related to the job you are applying for.
Do not talk about your children, your hobbies or your religion.
Common interview question: Why do you want this job?
For this question, you should talk about: why you are interested in the job; about why you like the company and about your career goals.
Do not talk about money. Do not say you have to get a job. Do not say negative things about your old job or old company.
Common interview question: What are your strengths?
For this question, you should talk about your individual strengths. Look at the job description or the company. Think about the things you are good at that might help you with the job. For example, you might be a fast learner. You might speak 3 languages.
Do not say you are not qualified for the job.
Common interview question: What are your weaknesses?
For this question, you should talk about something you have improved at or a barrier you have faced. For example, you could say, “Because I was a refugee, I did not get to finish high school in my home country. However, because education is valuable to me, I went back to school in the United States. Although not having an education put me behind, I found I am a quick learner and could succeed when given the opportunity.”
Do not say you things like: I am late all the time, I am lazy, or I don’t know very much about this type of job.
4. Make sure you know the location of the job interview.
Plan ahead and give yourself extra time. Try to arrive at the interview 10 minutes early. If you are taking the bus, you might want to practice riding the bus to the company ahead of time so you know what stop it is on the day of the interview.
5. Dress Professionally
Always wear clean clothes to an interview. Take a shower before you go to the interview. Brush your teeth and comb your hair.
Do not chew betel nut or tobacco before or during an interview. Do not smoke or use alcohol before an interview. Smoking can make your clothes smell bad and alcohol is not allowed at any job.
Do not wear sandals (flip-flops) to an interview. Wear socks and shoes. Try to find nice pants and a shirt. Do not wear shorts or tank tops. Do not wear hats, stocking caps, or sunglasses during an interview.
6. Make sure to shake hands unless you can’t because of religion or culture
Handshakes are common in America and it is okay to shake hands with a person from another gender. If you do not want to shake hands, that is also ok. Instead, place your hands across your chest and slightly tilt your head forward. Say clearly, “It is so nice to meet you. Thank you for taking time to interview me today.”
Try to smile. This shows the interviewer you are positive. Although this might be different than in your culture, it’s one of the most important things you can do in the United States to help you get a job. When you arrive at the interview, you might be greeted by different people. Try to be polite to everyone you meet and smile at everyone.
8. Look the interviewer in the eyes
Try to make eye contact. In the United States, making eye contact shows respect and helps people trust you.
9. Make sure your phone is turned off.
Turn your phone off before the interview. Do not look at your phone during the interview. If you accidentally forget and your phone rings, immediately turn it off or silence it. Do not answer it.
10. Do your best
Remember, you have already done the hardest part because you already got the job interview. You have already prepared. Now is time to do your best.
11. Ask at least one question
At the end of the interview, ask at least one question. This shows you are interstsed in the job and company.
Do not ask questions about salary (pay) or time off. You can ask these questions later, after you get the job offer.
12. Send a thank you email or letter after the interview
Before you leave, ask for the person’s card so you can send them a thank you note. If you don’t get the job, send them an email and ask them if they will give you feedback on why you didn’t get the job.
Good luck! We hope this helped you get ready for a job interview.
Do you have more career questions?
Ask other refugees and immigrants for advice on our Forums.Go to the Forums