State your education and experience

Be Prompt and Courteous

On the day of the interview, allow yourself plenty of time to locate the interview place. It is best to arrive a few minutes early. As you introduce yourself to a receptionist, host, or other person before meeting with the interviewer, be polite and respectful. The interviewer may check with these people later to see how you behaved.

During the Interview

The interview is very important. You will do well if you are prepared, positive, and relaxed. Remember, business etiquette is like the good manners that should be used at home. Keep the following points in mind:

• Shake Hands The interviewer will introduce himself or herself to you. Introduce yourself in return, and offer your hand for a firm, confident handshake. Remain standing until the interviewer asks you to be seated. He or she will probably begin with a few simple questions or comments to help you feel more at ease. Smiling never hurts.

• Make Eye Contact Maintain eye contact throughout the interview. Eye contact with the interviewer helps show that you are listening and are interested in what the interviewer is saying.

• Speak Clearly Use correct grammar and speak clearly. The interviewer will ask you questions designed to determine if you are the right person for the job. Answer the interviewer's questions completely.

• Use Good Office Manners Sit up straight, with both feet on the floor. Avoid nervous gestures, such as tapping. Never chew gum during an interview.

• Answer Thoughtfully and Completely

Do not interrupt the interviewer or become sidetracked as the interviewer speaks. If you do not understand a question, ask the interviewer for clarification. If you do not know the answer, say so politely.

• Ask Questions The interview process is meant to help you get information, too. Ask the interviewer about the nature, or basic structure, of the job, your responsibilities, and the work environment. Save questions about the rate of pay and employee benefits, such as vacation time, for the end of the interview.

Ending the Interview

Regardless of how the interview ends, thank the interviewer for his or her time. A professional attitude accompanied by good manners will always be remembered. Shake hands as you leave.

The interviewer will signal the end of the interview in one of the following ways:

• You May Be Contacted Later If the interviewer does not specify a time period, politely ask, "When may I expect to hear from you?"

• You May Be Asked to Contact the Employer Later Ask for the telephone number, the preferred time to call, and the contact person's name.

• You May Be Offered the Job You may be asked to decide right away whether you will take the job. If you are unsure, ask the interviewer if you may think about the offer. If this option is offered, follow up by responding promptly.

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