Job Interview Tips

By Leigh Hunt

TIP#1: Know the business.  Remember, you are there to help them satisfy a need in their company.  To be effective, you need to understand what their business is.  Do this by proper research ahead of time.  You can get information through public sources such as the library and the internet.  Often, we can help point candidates in the right direction for learning more about the company.

TIP#2: Dress for Success. In my experience, potential employers make a first assessment of the candidate within 60 seconds-- even before technical issues and job specifics are discussed! This is an area where your research can pay off, too.

TIP#3: Turn nervousness into strength. It's natural to be a bit nervous during a job interview.   Proper research ahead of time can do a lot to reduce nervousness, but it can't relieve it all.  Here are some tips to reduce nervousness:

  • Practice interviews.   Have others "play" interview you before the real interview.

  • Pause between questions, to collect your thoughts.  Even if you aren't collecting anything it will still seem to the interviewer that you are!

  • Be well on time. There's nothing worse than being stuck in traffic as the minute hand approaches the time of your interview.  Talk about sweat!

TIP#4: Be positive. Be a person who views the glass as half full. Companies want people who can fit on the team. Negative attitudes don't have a place in today's dynamic team based organizations.

TIP#5: Interview the Interviewer. Most if not all of the jobs in the plastics industries require people who can probe for answers-- whether they are in the technical end of business, managerial or sales.  Most employers are looking for this ability pretty early in the interview. So, use the interview to ask questions about the employer.  Caution:   Be sure your questions are not those that should have been answered during the research phase, for example, "Where is your home office located?" would be a dead giveaway that you haven't done your homework!  Instead, you might tie in to current events: "I read where ACME XYZ Corp is considering a merger with PQR.   If that happens, are their any plans to move the home office currently located in STU?

TIP#6: Follow-up. Within 24 hours, send a note to the interviewer thanking him or her for the opportunity and briefly re-expressing your interest in the job. Then follow-up again later! If you REALLY want the job, pursue it! You'll let them know you are a serious candidate that knows what they want!


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