Interview Tips from an HR Professional.

I have worked as an Human Resources Professional for five years at a Nursing Company in the state of Florida. In my position I see all walks of life in search of work opportunities with my company. So today, after several "interesting" interviews, I would like to share some tips on how to succeed in an interview!

  1. Be Punctual! No, that doesn't mean you have to be thirty minutes early (unless requested). I recommend 10-15min. prior to interview start time.
  2. Be Prepared! Nine times out of ten there was a list of required documents to bring with you and if there wasn't, at the very least, be proactive and make sure that your main form of identification on hand for filing purposes and any certifications that would coincide with the job you are interviewing for. Also, dress appropriate for the position you have applied for... If you are unsure, ask and business casual is always better than street clothes. Make a great first impression!
  3. Don't bring people along for the interview! I don't understand the concept of bringing your children, significant other, or anyone else along on your interview. No, they cannot interview without an appointment and I would prefer not to have people sitting or causing commotion in our lobby area if not needed. I understand, sometimes it cannot be helped but please take note that it is unprofessional to have someone tag along with you. Have a valid reason if you decide to do this because it may raise question in the interviewers mind.
  4. Know the position you are interviewing for! Take the initiative to learn about the position you've applied for. Know why you will be a good fit for this position and think about examples of those reasons. Also, know the company a bit so you know why you wish to work for that company.
  5. Body language speaks volume! You body language is key and helps employers interpret your attitude. Sit up straight and plant your feet on the floor to show confidence. Don't try and appear relaxed because that can in turn be interpreted as a lack of respect or interest. Make eye contact and maintain and open posture. Don't underestimate the power of a smile either.
  6. Wrapping it up! After the interview ends, reiterate your interest in the position (if sincere). Always remember to thank the interviewer for spending the time with you. If there is a call back waiting time, you may want to ask about the time frame. Shake hands and remember to smile.
  7. Post interview game! This will definitely get you noticed. Write and mail (snail mail) a thank you note to the person who interviewed you within 24-48 hours of the interview. E-mails are okay but a hand written note is much more personable and shows that you are well mannered. You may follow up with the HR Department, once the time frame begins has passed, for a status update. Try not to be too pushy because that can show future behaviors at the company if you are hired.

People skills all in all are important during interviews. Once a person takes a liking to you they will begin to "pull" for you to do well, whether they realize it or not. Listen to the questions asked and give examples when you are able to. I hope these tips help and I wish you all the best of luck on your future professional endeavors!


Join the discussion

What Guys Said 2

  • The most important tip is to circumvent HR altogether and meet with the actual decision makers via networking. Have a presentation prepared on exactly how you are going to generate profit for the company where you want a job and ask for a chance to show it in an interview. You need to know everything about the company, discover who the players are, what that companies problems are and have solutions for them, all before you ever step in the room for the interview.

    HR often will get pissed, but if the COO tells them they're hiring you, they have no choice but to file the paperwork. Doing this, you can get jobs that aren't posted, and sometimes even created specifically for you.

    As for the tips given by the OP, all decent, basic stuff you should be aware of.

  • 1, 2, and 5 - yes.

    3 seems like common sense (but I assume you've seen it before, so you included it)

    4 is really tough nowadays because half the firms out there are shit with job listings and use that typical corporate zombie talk to make listings. The other half use recruiting agencies who don't tell you ANYTHING other than a job title and the typical, expected stuff

    6 (thanking for time), yes. And 7, I'd say this one is outdated and only clung to for lack of anyone else wanting to break out of the mold. So people advise you to still do it. Which brings me to my next point:

    As an "insider", could you do all of us a favor and have the professional world move on from all these archaic motions and routines? Because it's seriously frustrating and accomplishes hardly anything. People always talk about how they want a genuine candidate for a job... but everyone is too afraid to break out of the mold and be a HUMAN in fear of seeming like an outcast or something. I highly doubt a person that is really serious about getting a position is going to be an ignoramus about it. But go ahead and give up all this old school bullshit that people perpetuate because they don't know anything else.

    Things like the "questions about you" or "tell me of a success", all the letters/cover letters/papers/extra stuff to show you know how to follow assumptions about what you're supposed to "be like", and so on. Applicants know they have to bullshit you, YOU know they're bullshitting you... so how about everyone drops the bullshit and *gasp* acts human?

    I am self-employed and I find that I struggle to get people to be REAL with me, because they're too busy trying to follow the motions to impress me and fit in while standing out but still fitting in...

    To me, a lot of the hiring process resembles taking tests in high school or college: it doesn't matter HOW you can use what you know, you only need to remember facts/dates/names for the test. It's shallow, in other words.


What Girls Said 1

  • I was going to say some of those too :)

    • Absolutely. It is funny how easily forgotten some of these etiquette's are.

    • I know right, esp body language. I've studied that comprehensively and non verbal communication conveys more than verbal does