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We have produced a number of resources to assist you in preparation for the candidate process:

Professional Interview Tips

There are three equally important steps in the interview process that, if done successfully, will make you stand out as an exceptional candidate.

  • Step one: Preparation
  • Step two: The Interview
  • Step three: Follow-up

Step One: Preparation

The most important step you can take is to prepare yourself for the interview, both mentally and physically, before the interview.

Preparing Your Mind

Know the Company: Read all the information Nycor has provided to you about the company and the job. Do additional research if necessary. This will help you discuss and ask meaningful questions with confidence.

Know Thyself: Know why you are leaving your current job and why you are pursuing employment with the present company. In the interview, you might be asked for your reasons for leaving your job. Prepare an answer that puts you in the best light possible and then practice delivering your answers. This will allow you to concentrate on listening during the interviewing rather than focusing on what you are going to say next.

Most interview questions are of three types:

  1. Short synopsis: Usually preceded by the question, "Tell me about yourself."
  2. Conversational: Questions that are asked by the employer in the context of a conversation.
  3. "Quizzes": To explore your technical qualifications to see how well you understand the job.


  1. Use one page of paper to write out a synopsis of your whole career. Develop a progressive track as to what you've done in previous jobs from a results-oriented standpoint, incorporating such action words as:
    planned organized lead to conceived
    created directed contributed to implemented
    originated lead achieved formulated
    initiated supervised increased managed
    developed guided evaluated coordinated
  2. Write the synopsis a few times to perfect it and to memorize it, then practice saying it out loud a few times until it flows naturally.
  3. On a few sheets of paper, with one job per sheet, describe the main functions you performed in each job, paying attention primarily to those functions that relate to the current job description for which you are interviewing.
  4. On a last sheet of paper, draw the diagram below. Use this diagram to match your previous responsibilities with the qualifications of the new job. First, list four or five responsibilities you know exist in the new job. Then, match each responsibility in the new job with the same or a similar responsibility that you have had in previous jobs.
    New Job Responsibilities Similarities to Previous Jobs

The more you rehearse what youve written in these three steps, the better you will do!


Why ask questions?

We feel that developing a repertoire of good questions to ask the interviewer(s) is the most important interview preparation you can do. For instance, you may want to know how the organization is set up and where you will be fitting in; what the anticipated future of this particular position is; and whether the company offers classes or education to further your skill sets. Think of questions you need to know that pertain to the position you are interviewing for. Asking good questions:

  1. Demonstrates good listening and people skills
  2. Demonstrates sincerity and interest
  3. Shows how well you take direction (through your response to their response)
  4. Keeps your mind organized
  5. Helps to keep your train of thought and the interview moving forward.
  6. Gets you armed for the next interview in which you can display your knowledge about the company, where you feel you might fit in, and how you might contribute to the company if you were hired.

Here are more examples of questions that will separate you from the rest. Come up with some of your own questions to help you find out more about the company, the position and how you fit into the picture.

  1. What are the major short/long range company objectives? (You can specify this question to the department you are interviewing for)
  2. What are the companys characteristics it considers to be unique or attractive?
  3. What other industries or outside influences effect your company's growth?
  4. In what area does this company excel? Or have limitations?
  5. What are some common denominators in successful employees in this company?
  6. In what areas does the company need polishing or development?
  7. What would you add or subtract from the incumbent's performance or company performance to increase production or efficiency?
  8. Based on what you've seen of me so far, where do you think I can contribute most effectively?

The most important question you will ask will come at the end of the interview. Ask your interviewer(s):

"Do you have any concerns regarding my qualifications for this position?"

This will allow your interviewer(s) to voice any concerns regarding your background and/or technical skill sets. Heres your chance to handle any objection with your own explanation. Sometimes people can misinterpret or misunderstand something in your resume or something youve said in the interview, and so, NOW you have the chance to clear it up!

Physical Presentation

A good image produces a strong first impression. It is highly recommended that you choose your best, dark suit. Even though the company's environment may be casual, always dress professionally. It's better to be dressed one step above the interviewer.

Men - Best to go with a white or striped shirt versus a dark, solid colored one.
Women - Suits are best, but professional dresses are fine.


  • Heavy makeup
  • Heavy cologne/perfume (no cologne or perfume is best)
  • Scuffed up shoes
  • Any form of seductive wear

More tips:

  • When you need an overcoat, it should be longer than your suit coat.
  • Make sure you are clean shaved and have a recent haircut
  • Be 7-10 minutes early!
  • Rehearse your opening.
  • Rehearse good eye contact.
  • Your handshake should be a firm full-handed grasp.
  • Eat before the meeting so your stomach doesn't growl during the interview.
  • Wake up early enough to be awake during your meeting.
  • Some interviews take place over lunch. Do not smoke, chew gum, drink alcohol, or eat anything messy or strong (like garlic), regardless of what the interviewer is doing. You might think you are doing a good job fitting in, when in fact, he or she might be testing you to see what you think is appropriate behavior. Smoking or drinking during an interview is never appropriate.
  • Make sure that the good impression you tried to carry out at the beginning of the interview remains just as good throughout and at the end of the interview. Studies show that people remember the beginning and the end of events better than the middle. So continue to pay attention to all the details until you get home.

Step Two: The Interview

Position your attitude before going into the interview to one of enthusiasm and energy. Not only does the employer want to know if you can do the job, he or she wants to know how you feel about the job. You can never go wrong by showing sincere interest during the interview.

Break the Ice

Use humor. While you are waiting, notice what's in the office to make conversation, such as a picture. Try gentle flattery such as, "I've been looking forward to our meeting." Observe the mannerisms and style of your interviewer and attempt to mirror that style. If you are with someone who is loud and aggressive, modify your behavior to be more outgoing. If your interviewer is reserved and you tend to be very gregarious, tone yourself down a bit. The objective here is to show the interviewer that you will fit into the group.

Tips on Answering Questions

If you prepared your answers to common questions as detailed above, you will find that you will be able to answer the questions more thoroughly and with more confidence than if you came in unprepared. Relax and make sure you understand what is being asked before you attempt to answer, and dont be afraid to ask questions to clarify. It is important when answering your interviewer(s) ' questions that you remain focused on the question at hand. A good interviewer (s) will have an agenda and they will want to stick to it. Do NOT go off on tangents, or make your answer extremely lengthy.

It is also important to help your interviewer "see" what you have done. For example, if your interviewer asks you what skill sets you feel are your strengths, it is important to answer not only with the specific skill sets, but describe specific projects, and how long you worked on each project, in which you utilized the skill set. Bring in examples of your work, if possible, such as pictures, sample codes, process diagrams, etc.

Questions about Money

In an interview, do not initiate the issue of salary. It is important to remember that companies want to hire candidates who are interested in the work being offered, the company itself and the opportunities available. The interview should be utilized as an information gathering and giving session. However, should the prospective employer ask you what your current or most recent salary is, you should be very forthcoming and honest. If the employer asks you what salary you are looking for in your next career endeavor, again honesty is the best approach. We also encourage you relay that you would give their best possible offer every consideration.

"Do You Have Any Questions That You Would Like To Ask Me?"

Dont be afraid to pull out the set of questions you prepared before the interview (see above). It will show the interviewer that you have thought meaningfully about the company and the job before the interview. Be sure to listen to your interviewers complete response, wait a couple seconds, and then respond. Do not step on the end of their sentences. Not only does patience demonstrate good listening skills but it gives them space to open up and answer your questions fully.

Step Three: Follow-up

If you are being represented by a recruiter, call them as soon as possible following your interview to let me know how things went, what your impressions are, and if you are interested in taking the next steps in the interview process. They can offer advice on how to proceed in the process. Write a thank you note. Hand write or type a thank you note or email and send it the same day. It is common courtesy to thank everyone for the time they spent with you, but it is just as important to indicate to the appropriate person(s) your interest in the position. If you are NOT interested in the job, and you are being represented by a recruiter, it would be wise to discuss it with them first before sending your letter. The recruiter can suggest ways to leave the door open to other opportunities within the organization in the future. Your thank you note should contain the following:

  • An introductory paragraph. This is where you should "thank" them for their time.
  • A short paragraph on why you feel you are the person for the position; what you feel you would contribute to this job and group (pick out 2-4 specific things that were discussed during the interview where you know you can make an immediate contribution).
  • A short paragraph on how you see the company benefiting you. By stating specific details of what was discussed during the interview, you are proving to them you listened, and you are interested in working with them!
  • A closing short paragraph should state that you hope to continue your discussions and offer them references or any other information they would need in making a decision on your behalf.

If you have any questions after reading these tips, please feel free to call your Nycor Consultant any time!


Local Phone: 952-831-6444
Toll Free: 1-800-675-6527
Email: recruit@nycor.com