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1200 Seconds to Success: The Screening Interview

Tips on Interviewing Strategy freely adapted from an undated six-page document credited to GRANT THORNTON found in a file that hadn't been opened since 1991. Some things never change:

1. Be on time.
2. Know the interviewer's name and use it in the interview.
3. Bring a resume, transcript, writing sample and list of references. You will appear prepared.
4. Expect to spend some time developing rapport. Check the morning news for current events.
5. Take care with non-verbal communication. Have a strong handshake, keep good eye contact and don't fidgit.
6. Don't let your nerves take control. Interviewers are lawyers who put their pants and panty hose on one leg at a time -- just like you do.
7. Don't play the comedian or try to entertain the interviewer unless you are interviewing for show biz job.

8. Don't exaggerate.
9. Follow the interviewer's lead unless the interviewer doesn't let you speak. Then you must take control and share Kimm Walton's "three things" that the interviewer must know before you leave the room.
10. Be prepared for personal questions -- even inappropriate ones.
11. Pay attention to the conversation. Zoning out sends bad signals.
12. Be sure that you understand each question. It's ok to ask for clarification.
13. Emphasize the positive.
14. Don't interrupt.
15. You may pause to gather your thoughts before answering a question, but remember that there is a big difference between "pause" and "dead air."
16. Know how your skills and talents should work for the employer.
17. Be honest. Don't try to "tell the interviewer what she wants to hear."
18. Never argue with an interviewer. No good can come of it.
19. Never speak ill of a former employer, colleague, teacher, institution or friend. Murphy's Law says that you will be talking about your interviewer's mother, brother or alma mater.
20. Admit your mistakes. It's better to stumble and appear honest than to be caught later and assumed to be a liar.