Getting a Job
You sent out your résumé and cover letter. Someone was impressed
and wants to interview you. Congratulations! You have made it over the first
In this section you will find tips and advice on interview preparation, salary negotiation, and everything that you need to know in order to turn an opportunity into successful employment. Go to the end of this introduction to see links to related articles.
What is so special and important about an interview? Anne Brunelle, one of our volunteer employment counselors, advises:
An employer invites you to an interview, because he, or she, wants to learn more about you. This is your chance to convince these people, face-to-face, that you are everything you said you were in your résumé – and more. This is the chance for your interpersonal and communications skills to shine.
- Make sure you have researched the company so that you can ask intelligent questions.
- Go over your achievements, complete with figures and/or stories to back them up, so that you can talk about them comfortably.
- Bring several copies of your résumé and your list of references.
- Bring copies of documents that you think will add to your credibility, a copy of an article you published, a blueprint you drew-up, the addresses of some Web sites you created.
- Bring anything that will help show that you will be an asset to the team.
Remember, an interview goes both ways. This is the time for the employer to decide if you will fit in well. It is also a chance for you to see if this company is a place where you would like to work. Answer questions truthfully (although you don't have to give all the facts) but ask questions as well.
After the interview, preferably within 24 hours, you should send a thank-you note to the person (or people) who interviewed you. This note can be sent by e-mail or regular post, typed or hand written, but it must be sent. Besides being polite, sending a thank-you note gives you another chance to remind the employer of your skills and let him/her know that you are still interested in the position.
Most employers will give you an idea of when a hiring decision will be made. If you have not heard from the employer by that date, it is acceptable to write or call to ask if the position has been filled, and if not, remind them that you are still interested.
You will probably have several interviews before you are offered a job. Consider each one as a learning experience and as a rehearsal for the one that leads you to a job.