Tips for a successful job interview

First impressions are important, and one of the most important impressions you can make is at the job interview. At the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society, we provide several employment classes that can help you prepare for this experience, but there are a few tips that we want to share.

Dress for success

Professional business clothes are always appropriate, regardless of the type of job you are interviewing for. Proper hygiene and a tidy appearance are important. Iron your clothes if you can, and avoid strong perfumes or colognes.

Be there on time

Try to arrive 5 or 10 minutes early to be safe. Find out ahead of time where you’re going and how long it will take to get there. Drive or travel the route a day or two ahead, at the same time of day as you will on the day of the interview. Confirm how often the buses run. Have a back-up plan.

Let your personality shine

If you’re excited about the job, don’t be afraid to show it. Employers want passionate employees, so be yourself. Just remember to always keep it professional.

Be confident

Feeling nervous in an interview is perfectly normal; just don’t let your nerves overpower your interview. Eye contact and a calm, clear speaking voice are excellent ways to show your confidence.

Watch your body language

During your interview, relax and sit naturally, but don’t slouch in your chair or lean on the interviewer’s desk. Avoid chewing gum, or fidgeting with jewelry or your hair.

Be professional

This begins with a smile and a firm handshake. Remember, this is your first introduction to the organization, so be polite to everyone you meet and turn off your cell phone.

Listen and ask for clarification, if you need it

Remember to listen carefully to the interview questions so that you actually answer the question, and never interrupt. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

Let them know what you have to offer

When answering the questions, let the employer see what you have to offer their organization. Talk about your past experiences and accomplishments without bragging, and tie those experiences to how they can help you contribute to their organization.

Think before you speak

Although you want to be open and honest in your interview, avoid talking about your personal or financial problems.

Don’t linger

Leave as soon as the interview is over, making sure you don’t linger. Shake the interviewer’s hand again, restate your interest in working for the organization, and thank them for the interview.

CIES Guides are a volunteer-led project made possible through contributions from the community.

Thanks to Kerry Howard for help with this guide. If you want to suggest a correction to this guide, or want to submit one of your own, please contact us.