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Top 5 Job Interview Tips from Career Expert, Dr. David Tirpak

You saw the job posting, sent your resume off, crossed all your fingers and waited patiently. And the call just came in. You have landed an interview! Before you do anything else, give yourself a pat on the back!

“Being selected for an interview is an accomplishment in and of itself,” said Dr. David Tirpak, assistant director of career and employment counseling at Howard Community College. “It proves you presented your skills, qualifications and experience well on paper, and that you have put yourself on the ‘short list’ of candidates for consideration. Be proud of this!”

Preparing for your job interview requires you to think about what happens when you are in the hot seat, and also what you should do before and after the meeting with your potential employer.

Here are Dr. Tirpak’s top five job interview tips:

Prior to your interview …

1.Conduct your research. Investigate the company including its history, leadership team, core services and recent news. Also search LinkedIn for the person who will be conducting your interview. Chances are, you can quickly and easily access their profile and gain some insider knowledge before you meet them face to face.

2.Practice your answers. Think about some of the questions you may be asked during the interview, as well as how you will answer.  Ask a family member or friend to conduct a “mock interview” so that you have an opportunity to practice and fine-tune your responses. You can also schedule a mock interview with HCC’s Office of Counseling and Career Services.

During your interview …

3.Be yourself.  Be genuine, confident and positive, but take a deep breath and relax too. Remember, you are simply engaging in a conversation with someone who wants to know a bit more about you and your personal story.

4.Ask questions. If you don’t have questions, you will appear unprepared or even worse, uninterested. Ask good, open ended questions that will make it clear you are interested in THIS job specifically.

Following your interview …

5.Follow-up. Send a handwritten thank you note or an email, immediately after the interview concludes to reiterate your interest and appreciation for the person’s time and consideration. Write some notes to yourself so you can remember the details about the job, how you felt when interviewing, what you liked about the opportunity and what you didn’t. This is especially important if you are interviewing for multiple jobs in a short period of time.

Good luck, and remember to reach out for assistance with your job search process at

If you feel like you need a course to sharpen your skills, registration is underway at HCC. Learn about admissions and search classes at

Topics: Career Focus
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