Ace Your next Job Interview

Yes, nice guys (and girls) do finish first! And the nicest girl or guy– who demonstrates great interview etiquette–is the most likely to be hired.

So, check your interview etiquette I.Q. with this Quiz.


1. Do you have a complete picture of the playing field?

Keys for Success

a. Learn everything you can about the organization, and about the competition.

b. Identify the problem for which the organization is looking for a solution.

c. Network to find out everything you can about the position.

d. Learn who has the power to hire you, and then network and learn everything
you can about her/him.

2. How will you identify yourself as the solution?

Keys for Success

a. Network to learn about the team.

b. Identify your top three solution skills for the problem.

c. Put yourself in the picture–visualize yourself on the team.

d. Practice making your solution case in front of a mirror, and edit
yourself to short, example-rich statements.

Make Contact

3. How will you make contact?

Keys for Success

a. The shortest route to getting hired is through networking.

b. Get someone to recommend you.

c. Call the boss and ask for an interview. And get complete contact information.

4. How will you confirm?

Keys for Success

a. Yes, always confirm. Reiterate the opening for which you’re applying, and
give your complete contact information.

b. Ask who will be involved in the interviewing process, and if you should bring
additional resumes, etc.

c. Send ahead any background information that might be helpful to you.

d. Let your network know about your interview, and get any feedback available.

Be Present

5. What will you wear?

Keys for Success

a. Dress for the role–only a bit upscale.

b. Preview yourself in a simulated interview, and be sure you know you look
good and are comfortable.

c. Ask someone whose opinion you value, if in doubt.

6. When will you arrive?

Keys for Success

a. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early.

b. Leave your schedule open for extra interview time.

c. Sit and take in the atmosphere–you can both get comfortable and learn

d. Turn off your cell phone and other electronic devices, and completely
focus on the interview.

7. When will you smile; when will you talk; and when will you listen?

Keys for Success

a. Be sure a direct look, warm smile, and handshake are part of your

b. Ask for, listen carefully, then confirm the problem for which the organization
is looking for a solution.

c. Put yourself on the team–as the solution. Give short and concrete experience
answers as backup.

d. Add the winning “nice” factor to your interview score. Smile as often as is
appropriate, and make eye contact.


8. When and how will you follow-up?

Keys for Success

a. Immediately send a personal thank-you note, handwritten, to each person
involved in the interview, and make a statement or two about key points
you made.

b. Send any requested reinforcing documentation, references, etc., as soon as

c. Close each follow-up by stating that you’ll be in contact.

d. Contact the boss exactly when and how you said you would.

e. Give your network feedback.

Close the Deal

9. How will you ask for the job?

Keys for Success

a. Frame your follow-ups for a decision: “Is there anything else you need
to make your decision?”

b. Restate your three solution points, if possible.

c. Ask for the job in a positive statement: “I believe I’m a good fit for the team…”

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