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Drexel Career Center Expert Offers 10 Tips for a Successful Job Interview

February 11, 2009

In today’s troubled economic times walking away from a successful job interview has never been more important. Drexel University’s Steinbright Career Development Center (SCDC) Executive Director Peter Franks provides the following 10 tips job seekers should follow for a winning job interview.

1. Research the Company: Be knowledgeable about the company when interviewing. Go to the company’s Web site, or do a Google search to find recent articles or press releases about a potential employer. Be familiar with and able to discuss the latest industry trends.

2. Prepare Your Responses: Prepare responses to frequently asked interview questions and participate in a mock interview. The more practice, the more articulate and convincing responses will be during the interview. 3. Dress for Success: Clothing should be neat, clean and conservative. A dark-colored suit is preferred. Men can wear a sport jacket, tie, and neatly pressed slacks. Both men and women should stay away from excessive jewelry, cologne/perfume, or make-up.

4. What to Bring: In a briefcase, bring five to seven copies of your resume and reference page printed on good quality paper, a notepad and pen to take notes, and a portfolio of your work (if necessary). Women’s purses should be conservative and plain. Cell phones, iPods or any other electronic devices, should be turned off.

5. Arrive Early: Arrive 15 minutes early. Arriving too early may pressure the employer to begin the interview before he or she is ready. Arriving late (even by a few minutes) appears unreliable and irresponsible.

6. Meeting Interviewer(s): Smile and be friendly. Firmly shake hands and thank the interviewer(s) for the opportunity that they are providing. Get the names of all interviewers and refer to them during the interview by name.

7. Maintain Appropriate Body Language: Maintain eye contact with members of the interviewing team. Eye contact conveys honesty and confidence. Sit straight in the chair with hands in a comfortable position.

8. Understand the Question: When candidates aren’t sure of the question’s intent, they should ask for further explanation and clarification. Before answering a question, organize your thoughts and formulate a response in sequential order.

9. Be Positive: Always speak positively about previous experiences. Sometimes employers will ask questions deliberately designed to elicit a negative response. Candidates should briefly describe the issue or problem, and then focus on how the situation was resolved.

10. Say “Thank You:” When the interview is complete, thank interviewers and let them know you will be looking forward to hearing from them. Ask for a business card from each interviewer and within the next twenty-four hours, follow up with thank-you letters to each of the interviewers.

The SCDC at Drexel offers personalized career guidance and world-class know-how to students. From undergraduate and graduate co-op programs and career workshops, to career counseling, career fairs, national and international hands-on experience, and more, helps shape students’ careers and give them the edge they need to succeed.


News Media Contact (not for publication): Niki Gianakaris, Assistant Director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or

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