Employment Interviews, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

Life in the USA is a complete guide to American life for immigrants and Americans. All materials on this site Copyright © Elliot Essman 2014. All rights reserved.    Home    Back    Next

Life in the USA
Making a Living
Finding a Job

Employment Interviews
Face-to-Face. Nearly all employment in the United States begins with some form of employment interview. The interview may be informal, someone pulling you aside just to ask a few questions, or it may be formal, scheduled long in advance, the kind of thing you get sweaty palms thinking about. The best advice for an interview is to look your best, and be yourself.

Personal Appearance. You should wear you best clothes to an interview to show respect for the person interviewing you and to show you are serious about the job and the company you want to hire you. This rule applies even if you know you may dress casually when actually employed. Pay particular attention to personal grooming details such as hair, nails and teeth. Make sure your clothes have been cleaned and pressed. Shoes should be in good condition and shined. People in America often look at a person's shoes and use their reaction to assess character in general.

First impressions count immensely in an interview situation. Greet the interviewer warmly and make eye contact. Shake hands firmly when you meet the interviewer. Be yourself at the interview and try to communicate directly to the other person's needs. Try to take the other person's point of view, how you can get the job done for them.

Following Up. After the interview, it's both polite and thoughtful to write a short, two or three sentence, thank you letter to the person who interviewed you. Such a letter is best handwritten, but type the letter if your handwriting is poor. Restate your strengths and the matters you spoke about in the interview. Since most people do not bother writing such letters, you'll stand out from the crowd.


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