Job Search Tips for College Grads: Seven Interview Tips for Success

Interviewing is an art of persuasion. It is essential you sell your unique promise of value by communicating your skills and achievements. During the interview listen to the interviewer’s needs and provide examples – short stories of your past work experiences that qualify you for the job. Use interview tips that will position you for success.

1. Receptionist your first point of contact. The interview begins when you walk into your potential employers building. The receptionist role is to observe the time you arrive, your manners, behavior and provide feedback to your interviewer after you leave. Use these strategies to make your first impression with the receptionist successful.


  1. Be on time. Arrive 15-20 minutes prior to your appointment to collect your thoughts and relax.
  2. Greet the receptionist with a friendly smile and hello.
  3. Clearly state your full name.
  4. State the first and last name of your contact and department. Have the phone number or extension available just in case you need it.
  5. Inform the receptionist the time of your appointment.


  1. Be rude or arrogant to the receptionist.
  2. Talk on the cell phone while you are at the receptionist desk.
  3. Talk on the cell phone while you are waiting for your contact.

Know your Strengths and What You Have to Offer for your Future Work
Take time to prepare and practice for the interview. Prepare to answer routine questions. Practice questions about your strengths, weaknesses, problem-solving ability and others based on the job description. It’s natural to be a little nervous – concentrate on being yourself.

Job Search Tips for College Grads: Seven Interview Tips for Success2. Establish rapport. As you walk to the interviewer’s office or designated area talk about the weather, non-political news events or general topics. If you are in the interviewer’s office look for conversation topics such as pets, sports, vacation or family pictures, awards or certificates – something you might have in common. This is how you establish rapport. Wait for the interviewer’s cue to start the interview.

3. Communicate your strengths. The best way to communicate your strengths is to tell a short story how you used your skills to achieve goals. Job seekers who do not provide examples of their skills become another candidate with a job description instead of achievements.

4. Dress for success. Men and women should dress for success by wearing a conservative business suit – not a coordinate. Your suit should be in the same fabric and color.

5. Confident. Maintain positive eye-contact and good posture.

6. Interview Questions. Be prepared to answer interview questions about previous or current employers. Watch for body language cues or concerns about your skills. Overcome any concern before you move forward with the interview. If you do not overcome the concern you risk not returning for a second interview.

Prepare a list of powerful uncommon interview questions you want to ask your interviewer. These questions will differentiate you from other candidates. Use this strategy to position yourself for a second interview.

7. Close the Interview.

  • Ask for a second interview.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time.
  • Close the interview by asking for what you want – the job offer.
  • Type a thank-you note and mail it within 24 hrs.
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