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When you join the team at DSS Consulting, Inc., you align yourself with one of the leading human asset management firms in the United States. We mobilize highly-skilled talent in a variety of professional industries. DSS presents you with the opportunity to capitalize on many optimal career possibilities.

Interviewing 101

by Valerie Lipow

The interview is the most important aspect of any job hunt. The impression you make on an employer will likely be the reason you do or do not get a job offer. Preparing in advance can help lower your stress level and help you perform better during the process. Prepare

  • Research the company to learn as much as you can. Use the information to demonstrate your knowledge and interest during the interview.
  • Rehearse. Practice your facial expression, eye contact, handshake and body language. Review likely interview questions and practice answering them.
  • Catalog your skills. Bring a list with you, as necessary, and make sure you're ready to tell the interviewer what you have done, and what you can do for him.
  • Allow at least two hours for the interview. Some employers want to spend the better part of a day with you, have you meet a number of people, tour the facility, take pre-employment screening tests and so forth. It's a mistake to feel rushed, or to leave the impression you have more important things to do than participate in the interview.
  • Dress as though you're ready and enthusiastic to go to work. Professionals tend to dress professionally: Men usually wear ties, dress shoes and often a sports coat. Women always wear hosiery and dress shoes. Go easy on the trendy; avoid displaying anything that may take attention away from your skills and qualifications -- tattoos, nose rings, makeup, etc. -- unless you are interviewing at a place where managers, employees and customers alike dress in that style.
  • Go alone. Don't bring a friend or relative. It may sound obvious, but it's been known to happen. If someone needs to drive you to the interview, leave him outside the building. Arrange to meet after the interview.
  • Arrive a few minutes early. Always make sure you allow extra time if you are unfamiliar with the location.
At the Interview
  • Be polite. Show respect to everyone you meet, whether it's the boss, the receptionist or a prospective coworker.
  • Focus on what you can offer the interviewer to address his problems. Don't talk about how the job or company can help you solve your problems.
  • Bring a fact sheet or resume with you. Even if the interviewer has a copy, another can be useful for you to refer to as you answer questions.
  • Think about what the interviewer really wants to know. Think of yourself as a retail product with features and benefits you want to sell, and gear your answers accordingly.
    What are your features? For example, you offer excellent interpersonal skills, loyalty, enthusiasm and a passion for helping people. How will your features benefit the employer? For example, you will do whatever it takes to satisfy your customers, work cooperatively with others and help the company triumph over its competitors.
    • Prepare a few questions to ask -- three to five is a good number. Asking insightful questions sets you apart from the rest of the pack of applicants. Questions demonstrate that you've done your homework about the company, and that you're as interested in finding out how you'll fit in and achieve your career goals as they are in learning if you're the right person for the job. You may not have as much time as you'd like to ask all your questions, so plan to ask the most important questions first, in case the interviewer closes the interview before you've had time to ask them all. Never, ever ask about salary, vacation or other benefits during a job interview. Doing so communicates that you are only interested in what you are going to get out of the job. Remember, the point of the interview is to communicate what you have to offer the employer, not the other way around. The time to talk about money and other goodies is after the employer has offered you the job.
    • Make hiring you the easiest decision an employer can make. Follow up with a thank-you letter to the interviewer or a phone call to let him know you are interested.