First impressions DO matter! Before you go to any interview, do an “interview check-up.”
Clothing: Find out what is appropriate for EACH interview (the company HR department will be happy to tell you), then dress one step “up.” Depending on the field of work you are entering, typically a dark business suit, white shirt, conservative tie, polished shoes are best for men; skirt/pants suit with white/pastel blouse and dark, closed toe/heel shoes are best for women. Keep it conservative!
Hair: Trimmed, clean, no “excessive” styles. Men: beards and mustaches are not recommended.
Jewelry: Keep it very simple. Nothing that jingles or jangles. Except for earrings on women, leave the piercings at home.
No perfume, cologne, excessive make-up, etc.
Be sure you’ve done your homework before your interview. Check out the organization’s website and other literature. Know the basics of their operations and be ready to ask intelligent questions. Make sure you know how to pronounce names and key business terms correctly!
You’ll almost certainly be asked certain questions (click here for a list). Be sure you have the answers ready in advance! Plus, be sure you have some good questions ready for them. Also, be sure you have a couple of "success stories" you can tell to illustate your talents and strengths from previous work or academic situations.
More and more employers are doing “virtual” interviews, especially via telephone and “Skype” or another internet format. Same rules apply as for in-person interviews … proper dress (o.k., maybe not for a phone interview), up-front research, typical questions, follow-up questions from you, etc. ACA has a Skype interview office and toll-free phone line if you need them for interviews.
“Practice makes perfect.” It might seem awkward at first, but practicing your interview technique with a friend, roommate, relative, or even in front of a mirror helps! Video and/or voice recording can be useful, too.