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Carrington College Blog

10 Tips for a Successful Interview

April 5, 2013

Interview TipsLike doing well on an assignment or a test, doing well in an interview depends a lot on how much you know and how prepared you are.  Follow these quick tips to help ensure success.

  1. Do your homework!  Make sure you know about the company you are interviewing at, know what they specialize in, what their mission statement is, their values, etc.
  2. Dress for success!  First impressions are important; make sure you show up to your interview in business casual attire or in clean and neatly pressed scrubs.  Remove any facial piercings (men, remove earrings), and make sure you are showered and well groomed. Avoid heavy cologne or perfume; (no chipped nail polish, no heavy make-up or anything too flashy in clothing or accessories).  Hint: If you would wear it out to a club or at night, it probably isn’t interview appropriate.  Hint#2:  Smelling like cigarette smoke during an interview for an Allied Health position is also not appropriate.
  3. Plan ahead/know where you are going.  Do you know how to get there?  Is there parking available? Do you need to check bus schedules? Do you need to arrange child-care?
  4. Be Prepared!  Bring a clean copy of your resume, references, and complete work history (along with phone numbers and addresses).
  5. Be Professional.  Smile; greet your interviewer with eye contact and a firm handshake.  Refer to your interviewer with the appropriate title (Mr., Ms., Dr.) until instructed otherwise.  Use appropriate language.
  6. Ask the right questions.  Prepare at least 5-7 questions to ask during the interview.  If you need some assistance in figuring out what kinds of question you should (and shouldn’t) ask, do a Google search for “Questions to ask in an interview” Hint: Interviews are not the time or place to reveal any deeply personal information
  7. Give the right answers.  Do a Google search for “Typical Interview questions”, and then go through each and think about how you would respond.  Or, visit the Career Services department for a comprehensive list!
  8. Be Gracious.  Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time.  Hint: Get a business card so that you can send a “Thank You” note.
  9.  Send a “Thank you” note!  Following your interview, send a quick email that thanks the interviewer again for their time, reiterates your interest in the position, and gives the interviewer ways to contact you.  Follow-up with a hand-written note in 1 week if you haven’t heard anything back, again indicating your interest (this helps keep you fresh in the interviewer’s mind).
  10. Relax.  Interviews can be a very nerve-wracking experience, however, the more prepared you are, the less likely you are to be nervous.  If you find that you are still struggling with nerves, try taking 10 deep breaths before going in to your interview (it really works!).  If your nerves still have the best of you, it is alright to call attention to the elephant in the room and simply say something to the effect of, “You’ll have to forgive me, I am really confident in my skills as a Medical Assistant and am really excited about this position, but I am a very nervous interviewee…”  And then SMILE!  Most interviewers are very sympathetic to the fact that interviews can be unsettling, and this will usually help endear you to the interviewer.

 If you would like to schedule a mock interview, contact the Career Services Department.