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 This page was last updated on 15-Jun-02

 Transitioning to Work:
ost people are nervous when they go to a job interview. However, by preparing beforehand you won't have anything to worry about. Believe it or not, occasionally the person conducting the interview is nervous, too!

Most interviewers will make a decision within the first 5 to 10 minutes of the interview. There are a number of steps that you can take that will greatly improve your chances of getting the job.  The first (and perhaps the most obvious) thing to consider is your appearance. No matter what type of job you apply for, you should dress appropriately. A nice suit is your best bet. Dark blue or a gray pinstripe are the best colors. Don't wear loud colors. Make sure all of your clothes are wrinkle free and that your shoes are polished. Women should wear a conservative suit or dress. Avoid excessive jewelry, make-up, perfume and bright nail polish.

Interview Do's & Don'ts

DO arrive early. If you arrive late, you'll be rushed and the interviewer may consider you unreliable.
DO walk briskly, with purpose, and stand up straight.
DON'T smoke, chew gum, slouch, read a novel, or other similar activities while you are waiting in the lobby. If some of the company's literature is available, read that instead.
DO give the interviewer a firm handshake, and don't be afraid to look him or her in the eye.
DO be prepared. Carry an extra copy of your resume and academic record.
DO complete your homework about the company to which you are applying - be ready to ask questions which show your interest (Ex:  I read that you recently added a wonderful new maternity wing - what other plans do you have for improving service to the community?)
DON'T talk too much ... or too little.
Above all, try to be natural and relaxed. Be yourself.

Questions that the interviewer may ask you include: What are your career goals? What are your strong points? Do you have any hobbies? Why do you want this job? Tell me about yourself. What did you like most or like least about your last job? Do you have any questions? She or he may also ask you some specific questions that relate to equipment or procedures you'll need to use on the job. This is a way of determining your overall knowledge and skills.
Before & During the Interview

Be positive and enthusiastic.
Try to focus on your accomplishments and achievements in past jobs.
Find out as much as possible about the job duties and requirements of the position you are applying for. This will help you to be able to ask further questions.
Find out as much as possible about the company.
If you are really interested in the job, let the interviewer know about it.
Questions you need to ask include: When will the job start? To whom do I report? What would a typical day be like?
Don't be too concerned about salary and benefits at first. If you are selected, they will make you a salary offer. Toward the end of the interview you can ask about benefits.

After the Interview

There are a number of things that you can do after the interview that will make you an even more attractive job candidate. Here are a few tips:
Write a thank you letter. If you really want the job, say so in the letter.
If you have not heard anything within 8 to 10 days, you may want to call. Assure them that you are not trying to be pushy, but that you are just interested.
If you aren't hired, you can still send a thank you letter to the company and ask them to keep you in mind for any other similar job openings.

Article reprinted with permission from

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