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Guide to Successful Interviews

By Susan P. Joyce

How to Succeed at an Interview

Interviewing is usually a very important part of the process of finding a job. It's an important connection between the job candidate and the people making the hiring decision. Both sides of the process have an opportunity to evaulate the "fit."

The Interview Process

If a job seeker's resume passes the resume screen, the job interviews are usually the next major step in the pre-employment screening process.

During this screening process, employers often focus on eliminating applicants who are not appropriate for the job or the situation.

The result can be, for the job seeker, like running through a mine field. One misstep, and you're OUT - a very stressful situation.

But, millions of people are hired every month in the USA, even in tough economic times. The articles in this section will help you understand what you need to do, help you prepare, and succeed.


How to Answer the Common Interview Questions

See the most frequently asked questions with sample answers plus the best strategies for answering effectively here:

Guide to Answering the Common Job Interview Questions

Interviewers typically ask the same questions in job interviews. It's easy for them to do, often working from a prepared list of questions. After the interviews are over, comparing candidates is also easier.

We have compiled a list of the common job interview questions with the best strategies for answering them, from what's your greatest weakness to why are you leaving your current job (or why were you fired from your last one).

How to Handle Typical Interview Situations

You may run into many different situations in job interviews. These are the most typical:

For more about handling behavioral interviews, panel interviews, and other options, see the article list on the right.

How to Follow Up After Your Job Interview

The waiting game after a job interview can be the most nerve-wracking part of the whole process. From writing a thank you note to figuring out why didn't they get back to you when they said they would, the post-interview period can drive you crazy and can also, if not handled well, end opportunities for you.

For details, read:

Be sure to check out the sample thank you notes and emails, too, including the thank you when you know for sure that you blew the job interview.


How to Be Well-Prepared for Your Job Interview

Preparation is key to succeeding in your job interviews.

Most employers have seen too many candidates who don't seem to really be interested in the job or who think that getting a job interview is the same as getting a job offer.

Demonstrate your interest in the job (and figure out if you really want the job) by being well prepared for every job interview.

Find additional interview preparation articles in the list on the right (or below, on your smart phone).

Interviews Are a Two-Way Street

While it is an important, even critical, part of the hiring process, job interviews are an opportunity for each "side of the desk" to evaluate the other.

As part of your preparation process, pay attention to what you discover about the employer. Any questions occur to you based on what you find? Evaluate the employer based on your needs and preferences.

Then, in the actual interview, ask questions collect information about the employer. In the first job interview, don't ask the salary, vacation, and other "selfish" questions (save those for later, when you have a job offer to consider).

In the first interview, ask the questions that help you determine if this job with this employer really represents a good opportunity for you. Does the work sound like what you want to do? Do you like the people and the location? Is this really a place where you want to work?

Even in this economy, job seekers can use this face-to-face interaction, often taking place in the work environment, to evaluate the employer and the opportunity.

Come back. We'll have more articles to help you succeed in your job search and your job interviews the next time you visit

About the author...

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Guide to Successful Interviews

Essential Job Interviewing Requirements:

Navigating the Interview Process:

Succeeding at Different Kinds of Interviews:

Steps to Prepare for Your Interview:

More Information About Successful Interviews:

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