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Fill in the blank: The best thing to do/say at a job interview is......


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John’s Answer

Hi, Angelina: ok, I'll try to fill in both blanks . . . "The best thing to SAY at a job interview is that you really want the job." "The best thing to DO at a job interview is to be prepared." In the first case, it's always a good idea at the end of the interview to say that you really want the job. The employer will feel that you are a serious candidate that is super motivated. More important though is the second fill in the blank. BE PREPARED! There is a ton of advice available on how to prepare for an interview, but it boils down to two things: 1. Know yourself and 2. Know the employer. In other words, know how your strengths fulfill the needs of the employer and be ready to give concrete and personal examples. Have good stories ready that illustrate your fitness for the job. Also, be ready for the question about why you like the employer's organization; and that comes from really studying the employer's website, doing article searches that refer to the company, and giving good examples of how well you know the organization. For example, let's say you are applying to work for the New England Patriots organization. Well, you had better know everything you can about the team and how they've done for the last 15-20 years, who their key players are, who their management is, and the entire organizational structure of the NFL. In other words, you need be a real football nut. The more you can demonstrate that you would fit right into the target organization, the better chance the employer will see the fit and offer you the job. Okay, this is a long answer to your question, so I'll stop here, but maybe you get the picture, eh?!


Haha, yes I get the picture! Thank you for your helpful and in-depth answer, I appreciate your help! Angelina P.

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Kim’s Answer

One cannot overstate the obvious: The "interview" starts prior to the interview!
1. Turn off your phone, or, better yet, leave it in the car.
2. Greet EVERYBODY who you see from the minute you leave your car to the minute you return to it.
3. Don't pull into the parking lot with music blaring or a dirty car. Sometimes they watch.
4. Remove all visible piercings, to include the one in your tongue (if applicable).
5. Spit out your gum (in the bathroom, not in the parking lot!)
6. Do not dye your hair any color other than the one you were born with. (oka, exaggerated slightly, but no green hair!)
7. Arrive about ten minutes early. Don't be over-early. Don't be late.
8. Find something to do while waiting, other than playing on your phone.
9. Dress appropriately. Do not display cleavage. Minimal jewelry.
10. Don't hide behind your hair.
11. Have a firm handshake, and make eye contact when shaking hands.
12. Watch your body language during the interview - no crossed arms!


I think the others have covered the actual interview!
good luck!
Also, remember that each interview stands alone. Don't evaluate them as a group. Sometimes the employees being tasked with conducting the interview are inexperienced. Sometimes they won't make eye contact because they are reading questions and taking notes. Learn from each one, and move on. The first few might even be considered "practice interviews."


These were all great tips! Thank you so much! Angelina P.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Be prepared for this question: How has your training, education, and work experience prepared you for this position? Regardless of whether they ask this question or not, you will need this information in your interview.


Thank you for the helpful tip! Angelina P.

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Lindsey’s Answer

I would also encourage you to do some research on the company prior to your interview. Know their Mission Statement and any major stories in the news about that business. Then ask how your position will 1) fit into their mission statement; or 2) how your position will contribute to an initiative highlighted in the research you found.


This will show your interviewers that you did your research and you are here for the company, not yourself.
After the interview, the next day, write a thank you note to your interviewers and mail it the old fashioned way. An email is okay too. But nobody writes thank you notes anymore. This will make you stand out.


Those are all really good ideas, thank you! Thank you for taking the time to answer me, I appreciate it! Angelina P.

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Richard’s Answer

Arrive on time, be engaged and know what the company and position does. Be prepared to talk about things you’ve accomplished and your strengths, and how those relate to the job function you are expected to perform. Projects you’ve worked on, completed and how you work with other people to achieve those successes. Don’t be afraid to not know everything- as a hiring manager it’s more important to look for a team player who is engaged in learning and working towards accomplishing goals.

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Jeff’s Answer

Give very detailed information and specifics around projects you created and led. Showing leadership qualities is something I look for during an interview. I suggest talking about ways you increased proficiency, increased profits, led the project to completion and reduced waste.

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Karen’s Answer

Prior to the interview, complete research on the company this will show you have prepared and though ahead of time. This included understanding the position your are applying for. Practice Practice Practice, before the interview, complete practice runs with a friend or college, have information available about your strengths/ and include any relevant experience or talk about relevant projects you have completed.
Before going in, ensure you take Deep breaths and relax so you appear calm. Remember to be yourself. Have a firm handshake and make eye contact when shaking hands. Make sure your appearance is professional, many people like to recommend a crisp sharp white shirt.
During the interview be engaged make sure you are friendly, Smile and continue the eye contact.
Be prepared with questions when they ask you if you have any questions. One I have seen used by an Interviewee “Can you tell me what does a day in the life of “ “ looks like “.
At the end of the Interview thank them for their time ask them what their timetable for a decision to be made. I also suggest you send a follow up email the next day to the Contact you have again thank them for the interaction.

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Jeff’s Answer

Based on my experience, I believe the best thing you can do in a job interview is be yourself and be prepared. Research the company and position and think of ways that you can leverage your strengths to set yourself apart based on your experience and the job responsibilities. Be prepared to give specific examples of where you feel you have displayed your strengths in previous roles, be honest about areas where you feel there is opportunity to learn, and why both make you a good fit for the role you are interviewing for.

For me, when I am interviewing someone for my team, what I am looking for is 4 things:

1) Attitude

2) Aptitude

3) Personality/culture fit

4) Experience

Jeff recommends the following next steps:

When you land an interview, connect on LinkedIn with someone else at the company in a similar role and see if they would be willing to have a conversation. This type of research could end up being incredibly helpful as you assess the position and prepare for the interview
If you know someone else that is working in the industry or has a similar role with another company, leverage them as a resource for feedback in preparation for the interview
If you are just beginning to interview, research commonly asked questions online for the role you are interviewing for.

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Jacob’s Answer

I would say the 3 best things to do in order to get ready for an interview is:

1 - Be professional
2 - Be calm/relaxed
3 - Be yourself

You got chose to get interviewed for a position because the company sees something with you, whether its your background or prior work experience. If you stay relaxed and just talk about what you already know in a professional manner your interview should go smooth!

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José Carlos’s Answer

Most of the work you do in an interview is done *before* the interview. The best thing to do is to research about the company, learn about their mission, what are their challenges, and how can you position yourself to help them.

And then, very important, during the interview do not answer with "I" but with "you".  This sounds obvious but a lot of people miss it: the company do not want to hire you to help you, they want to hire for you to help them. So, for example, id you are asked "why do you want to join us?" do not answer "because I am the best" but instead "because you have this problem, and I can help you solve it".

José Carlos recommends the following next steps:

Prepare prepare prepare

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Linda’s Answer

Hi Angelina,

Such a great question and so many great responses already.

A few things I'd add. Always come prepared with questions for the interviewer. It's always great to show that you're curious, that you want to learn more about the job or the company. For example, if you want to learn more about the company culture or work-life balance (other than what you might've already done research about), ask about it!

Be yourself - there's a few comments above talking about what to wear and how to dress, but in some industries showing up in a full business suit is not completely necessary. There are several companies that will encourage any candidate or employee to come as they are - even if that means they might have colored hair, unique jewelry, or more casual business clothes. As long as it's professional and non offensive, it may be acceptable for that employer (but check beforehand!).

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Paul’s Answer

All of the responses provided are excellent and I would encourage you to follow the advice provided. However, I think it's important to know that there will be many qualified applicants who are also doing the same thing so it's important for you to stand out in someway. This can be accomplished by highlighting your volunteer experiences or internships that may be relevant to the job you're applying for. Or perhaps you went on vacation to an exotic place that changed your perspective on life or maybe you had a unique and life changing experience that makes for a great story.

Also, something that is often overlooked, is how you can add value to the company. Many applicants focus on themselves and what the company can do for them in terms of career growth. But what about emphasizing how you could contribute to help the company grow? Highlighting your success in the past is great but you need to highlight how your past success can translate into potential growth for the company. Maybe you identified problems that the company is experiencing that you can help resolve or have ideas that if implemented, will help the company increase revenues.

So to answer your question directly. The best thing to do/say at a job interview is...…

1. Make yourself stand out from the crowd by highlighting past or unique experiences that are relevant to the job
2. Emphasize how hiring you can help the company grow

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Alexandra’s Answer

The best thing to do is be poised, friendly and professional.

The best thing to say is that you are knowledgeable but also willing to learn and that you are looking for the next challenge.


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