Interview Tips

Applicant Tips

Building Relationships

Your interview is really your first real opportunity to make a great impression. Interviews allow you the opportunity to help them connect you with what they are looking for, build a strong relationship and generate a positive attitude, and the interview gives you both a chance to learn about each other and determine if this is a good fit. Here are a few tips to help you ace your interview and stand out for the right reasons.

Do Your Research

Be prepared by taking the time to do your research about state government, our challenges, the communities we serve, and the agency you are interviewing for. Also, research the position you are interviewing for so you can both answer and ask relevant questions about the position, this shows you are serious about the opportunity. It is important to know your interviewer’s name.

Be Yourself

An interview gives both the applicant and the interviewer an opportunity to review job fit and access the culture for a successful employment relationship. The best thing you can do is present your true, authentic self, answer questions honestly, and show your personality. Do not be afraid to be honest about your shortcomings or difficult experiences, and stay positive providing honest answers without being negative toward previous employers and coworkers. Also, review your resume and be ready to talk about your experiences and highlight your knowledge and skills showcasing how you are the right candidate for the job.


It is essential that you practice before your interview. Sit with a friend or family member and have them ask you common interview questions so you can get comfortable with answering them and find ways to share your experience in relation to the questions. Also, this allows you to be aware of your posture and body language to help you feel comfortable and look professional during your interview.

Be Early

It is recommended that you show up 15 minutes early. This allows you the time to be collected and composed. It also allows the interview to start on time and show you are reliable, prepared, and will be there when you are needed. This is a great way to make a good first impression.

Stay Calm

Though this may be easier said than done, try to remain calm during the interview. This will help you seem less nervous and allow the interviewer to view you in a professional light. Remember to breath and take your time to answer the questions.

Ask Questions

An interview is not just an opportunity for the employer to get to know you, it is a time for you to get to know them as well. Take this opportunity to ask questions that are important to you. This will show genuine interest and commitment.

Build a Relationship

Try to build a relationship with the interviewer and connect with them personally. Ask them about them, their day, or anything else they mention. If you have similar experiences or interest, it can help to build on them. This can help you and the interviewer feel calm and relaxed. Regardless of whether you receive or accept a job offer, use this as an opportunity to begin building a positive relationship and to expand your professional network.

Follow Up

Finally, it is important that you follow up with the interviewer. In general, you should follow up within 24 hours, thanking the interviewer for their time and express your interest in the position again. You can also use this opportunity to share any other information that may be helpful when they are making their decision. You can send them as an email or by mail. Also, if you have not received a response by the hiring agency by the provided deadline, feel free to follow up with your contact.