Interview Must Dos For Success

Five Essentials For A Successful Interview


Whether you are a seasoned interviewee or you are heading into your very first one there are certain things you must do to ensure a successful interview.


Research the company

You spend a lot of time working on yourself in order to get the interview. You ensure you have the qualifications necessary to peruse the career you’re after. You network, you volunteer. You prepare a resume and cover letter specifically geared to this job. You are very self centered – as you must be. Now it’s time to look outward. Once you have an interview lined up your first priority is to get to know the company. Of course you will check out their website, but don’t stop there. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Get a feel for their company culture, their attitude. If come across any news, bring it up in the interview. Make sure the interviewer understands you are not just looking for a job, you are looking for a job with them.


Decide where you would like to fit

You have done a lot of research into this company. Is the position you’re applying for where you want to stay or is it a starting point? Have a plan for your future with this company and be ready to explain it. Ensure the interviewer understands why you are a great fit for the job at hand and explain how you can be an asset to the company down the road. Create a future picture for the company in their mind with you in it.


Prepare answers to common interview questions

There are questions common to just about every interview. Tell me about yourself, What are your greatest strengths etc. Here are some from Inc. Here are some more from Workopolis. Review these questions and have well thought out, professional answers.


One of the questions they will ask you is, Do you have any questions for us?


No I think you’ve covered everything during the interview is the wrong answer.  Demonstrate how excited you are about the position with the right questions. To help you figure out what those might be, check out these examples from Big Interview.


Don’t forget what your body is saying

You’ve prepared what’s going to come out of your mouth. Now don’t forget the reams of things you will say silently. If your mouth says one thing and your body says another, chances are the interviewer will go with the things unsaid with words.


Even if you are a walking nerve, your body language doesn’t have to be any indication of that. All you need to remember is to keep eye contact, sit up straight, smile, breathe (always breathe) and listen to what the interviewer is saying. Meaning don’t spend all your time thinking ahead to what you are going to say next. Really listen to the interviewer, nod, lean in a little.


Follow up

The interview is not over until you have sent a thank you note. Thank them again for the interview, quickly bring up a point of discussion you had and reiterate your interest in the position. Here are a few examples from the balance careers


There Is More Out There – Strive To Bring it In Here

There Is More Out There - Strive To Bring it In Here

Changes to the world, big and small

You see it all the time in movies. The main character believes they are destined for great things. They are positive that there is more to their life than just going to school or getting through the day to day of their job. Sitting in the audience, we know this too. Our hero will invariably end up saving the world.

This kind of story is popular and enduring because is resonates so deeply with the way most of us feel. We too have something unique to contribute to society at large. Although most of us won’t save the world, each of us has the opportunity to do things to change one small part. To redefine our surroundings. To make the experience of life a little better for ourselves and/or others.  Inspirational writer and motivational speaker Alan Cohen tells you, if you sense there is more out there, you are right. There is.

Varying degrees of more out there

Depending on your circumstances more out there may be as big as reaching for the top job in the company or as modest as department leader. How much more is not relevant. What is relevant is deciding to pay attention to the inner voice encouraging you on and then striving for it – whatever that is.

Remember who is writing your story

As the main character of your life story, you have to remember, you are both the protagonist and the writer. Having a feeling you could do/be more or hearing a voice inside your head telling you as much will do nothing to move you forward without follow through. This story of yours isn’t going to write itself. So pick up your pen and strive for it!




Put Some Muscle Behind The Greatest Strength Question

Put Some Muscle Behind The Greatest Strength Question

Questions you’re likely to see in a job interview include: Where do you see yourself in 5 years. Tell me about yourself. What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest strength seems like one of the easier ones. Don’t take it too lightly. This question gives you the opportunity to really sell yourself and your abilities. More than the others, is designed to see if you’re the right fit for the job.

Do Your Research

The first thing you want to do is some research. Find out what the company values. What traits do they look for in employees? Take a look at the job description and see what the job requirements are. What seem to be the most important ones? Choose strengths that align with those traits.

Quality Over Quantity

When it comes time for you to consider what strengths you want to mention at your interview, focus on quality rather than quantity. Mentioning a whole host of things you consider yourself good at only shows you’re not great at anything. Focusing on only a couple things you consider your strengths will allow you to paint a stronger picture of yourself and those talents.

Back It Up

When you’ve picked the strengths that best suit the job and position, make sure you have specific stories you can use to demonstrate those qualities. Talk about how and where you developed the skills and instances where they have proven useful. It’s easy to say you have a given strength, it’s much more impressive when you can give specific examples.

That Balance Careers has a couple examples of how to best answer this question, here’s one:


“I am a skilled salesman with over ten years of experience. I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I’ve earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.”


In this short example, a strength is given, and followed up with proof. Do the same, and you’ll knock this interview question out of the park. Good Luck!


Can The Interviewer Ask That?

Can The Interviewer Ask That?

Handling Illegal Interview Questions

All the work you spent perfecting your resume has paid off. You researched the company, thought about answers and you’re ready. This is a job you want and you don’t want to mess anything up. Then your interviewer asks you something that doesn’t sound quite right. With a sinking feeling you begin to wonder if that question is even legal.

What can you do? You want this job but you’re pretty sure the question is out of line. We’re here to help you understand what qualifies as an illegal interview question, and how you can answer them.

What is an Illegal Interview Question?

Sitting in an interview, some job applicants tend to believe that the interviewer would never ask inappropriate questions. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. More than likely you’ll run into someone asking you questions they shouldn’t at some point in your career. Here are a few things interviewers are not allowed to ask.

Anything relating to your family, nationality, gender, race, sexual orientation, criminal record or religion. These questions aren’t always easy to spot. Interviewers might not ask your age specifically, but they might word the question in such a way as to determine how old you are.

Forbes gives us one thing to keep in mind. “…many times, illegal questions aren’t asked with ill intent. An inexperienced interviewer may say something like, “That’s a beautiful accent. Where are you from?” as a way to spark conversation. She might not realize the question is illegal, or may not know how to frame the question in a legal way.”

How to Answer Illegal Interview Questions

If you’re asked these questions, there are a number of ways to handle the situation. One suggestion comes from Business Insider.

“If you are asked any inappropriate questions, Adelson advises not to lie, but, instead, politely decline to answer.”

Declining to answer may prove to be awkward, especially if the interviewer didn’t intend to ask an inappropriate question. If you feel the question was asked without ill intent, aim to answer the question, and simply leave out the bit you feel is out of line.

Interview Examples

For example, let’s say your interviewer asks you if, as a woman you feel you’d be able to manage a team of men. Describe your abilities as a manager, and successes you’ve had in a management role. Don’t bother mentioning anything about genders in your reply. It’s more than likely in this example that the interviewer will be satisfied with your response and move on.

If you find that you aren’t comfortable answering the question as asked, another option is to ask the interviewer to rephrase. Again, this can be awkward but it will show your confidence.

An example here would be if your interviewer asked: “Do you practice a religion that has specific holidays on weekends?” you could respond with “While I don’t feel comfortable discussing my religion, perhaps you could rephrase the question so I can give you a clearer answer.”

Handling Illegal Interview Questions

Getting asked an illegal interview question is never fun, and making sure you stand up for yourself in this situation can be nerve-wracking. But if you’re able to maintain your confidence and answer appropriately and politely, you’ll impress your interviewer and you may have an even better shot at landing the job!

The Positive You

The Positive You

Many of us wish we were better. Better at our jobs, or better with certain skills. The surprising thing is, most of the time, we actually are better then we think we are. How often have you thought “I can’t do this” before you’ve even tried. How often have you seen a job ad and said “I’m not qualified” and didn’t even bother to applying? How often in your work day have you thought “This will be good enough” so that you could go home? Negativity keeps you from reaching your potential.

Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar was a salesman. He worked at a number of different companies as a sales person and eventually became Vice-President at the Automotive Performance company. Throughout his career he wrote numerous books about sales and selling and worked as a motivational speaker. Even after an injury reduced his short-term memory, Zig Ziglar continued to speak publicly and write books until his passing in 2012.


His books include “See You at the Top”, Zig Ziglar’s Secrets to Closing the Sale”, “Over the Top”, and “Success for Dummies”. With a following of millions, he was quoted often. Forbes put together a list of some of his best quotes.


Thinking positively is the first step in unlocking your potential. You are stronger and smarter than you give yourself credit for. Keeping a positive attitude is essential to believing you can do the job ahead of you. If you have a negative attitude you’re unlikely to push yourself harder and further to see where your limit is. Don’t let negativity bring you down. Be positive and use the abilities you have to their fullest potential.