Denise Olsen & Sheri Surels

MCCS Iwakuni Human Resources Specialists

Community Writer

Congratulations!! You just received notification your résumé was accepted and you now have an interview for the job you applied for. Now, let’s get you ready for that interview.

First, let’s go over your attire. As you probably know, first impressions are very important. First impressions take seconds for a complete stranger to either have a positive or negative opinion of you based on appearance; so it is vital to understand the ins and outs of interview attire. This is not the time to experiment with your wardrobe or hairstyle. If you are unsure about your outfit. ask a friend for their opinion. Or stick to the best rule of thumb, business casual. Business casual can be interpreted as khakis and a nice shirt and tie, or a dress with proper shoes to go with it. A splash of color is all that is needed. No loud patterns or colors, as they can be a distraction to the interview panel. The best advice I was given when I was younger was to always dress one notch above what is deemed suitable for the position.

Now that we have your outfit covered, let’s go over how to prepare for the interview. Remember, it is totally normal to be nervous, everyone is! The best way to calm your nerves is to prepare for the interview. Just like an exam, you don’t go in without studying and hope for an A. The more you study, the more prepared you are; an interview is no different. Before the interview, go over the Position Description and research the department you will potentially be working for. Make sure you understand their mission and who they are here to support. The more you know, and more prepared you are, the less nervous you will be. Another helpful idea is to ask a friend, or spouse to do a mock interview with you. Have them ask you questions about prior work experience, your strengths, and what areas you can improve. Personal & Professional Development also offers classes and resources to improve your interviewing skills.

At the end of the interview you typically will have a chance to ask the panel questions regarding the position. Make sure you have at least two questions either written down or prepared in your head. Some suggestions are, “What are some of the challenges this position will face?” “What is a normal work day?” “What are you looking for in an applicant to fill this role?” Show you put some thought into the interview and prepared yourself the best you possibly could.

One last tip, if you know a member or members on the interview panel act as if you have never met them before. Do not assume that they already know your skills or experience. An interview is a time for you to highlight and show all of your knowledge and what you can bring to the organization. Make sure you show you will be an asset to the team.

Follow the tips above and you’ll be ready to ace your next interview. Ready. Set. Go!


March 31, 1-4 PM, Bldg 411 Room 123

Present yourself as the best candidate for the position you’re seeking. Learn how to answer difficult questions and get guidelines on what to do before, during and after the interview.

Call 253-6439 to sign up