10 Critical Success Factors nearly every company is looking for:

  • Positive attitude toward work
  • Proficiency in field of study
  • Communication skills (oral and written)
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Confidence
  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Flexibility
  • Self-motivation
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork

In the first five minutes, the interviewer will note:

  • your appearance
  • your grooming
  • your handshake
  • your personal presence
  • your eye contact
  • your articulation
  • your personality

Learn more about the position and organization:

  • Research the organization; if they have a web site, explore the various departments
  • Talk to employees who work for the organization
  • Call an employee currently working in the position you are being interviewed for
  • Find out who is the president or head of the organization, how long the organization has been in business

Rehearse answers to potential questions:

  • Learn the kinds of questions you may be asked and practice the best answers
  • Learn to express your weaknesses as positively as possible
  • Practice mock interviews with a friend

Practice reciting highlights of your qualifications:

  • Know three good reasons why you are an outstanding candidate and work them into your responses
  • The goal of an interview is to have you effectively communicate your skills and abilities

Dress professionally and be well-groomed:

  • Dress for success. Make a favourable first impression
  • Avoid wearing too much cologne or perfume
  • Your hair should be clean and well-groomed
  • Shoes should be polished and coordinate with your suit or dress

Arrive early:

  • Give yourself lots of time to find the location, park and relax prior to the interview

During the interview:

  • Shake hands firmly and don't take a seat until asked
  • Don't slouch, and always maintain eye contact with the interviewer(s)
  • Speak in a firm, confident voice and always present a positive attitude
  • Avoid saying "uhmm". Take a deep breath, reflect on the question, and organize your thoughts before proceeding with your answer
  • Listen to the interviewer(s) carefully; make sure you respond to the entire question; don't be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question
  • Being positive about your past experiences, relays a message that you most likely will be positive about future employers
  • Bring any notes along with you that you feel would help you

References:

  • Whether you did or didn't include reference names in your resume, bring to your interview a list of three work related references

Ask questions:

  • Prior to your interview, develop and prepare a set of questions to ask the interviewer; ensure that your queries are not covered on their web site
  • Ask relevant questions during the interview
  • Learn what happens next