How to Wow an Interviewer

Speech Communication Professor, Imran Haider, at his office in Shepard Hall 204. 

Brian Nguyen

Many students on campus are constantly looking for employment as college is an expensive investment in yourself. Imran Haider, a professor in the speech communication department who graduated from Portland State University in communication studies, knows the many different ways to succeed in an interview.  Due to having experience in hiring employees and as a professor who teaches interpersonal communication, Haider has formulated the dos and don’ts for an interview.


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According to Haider, a great way to first impress an employer is by introducing yourself in person. “The best way to create an advantage is to introduce yourself to the hiring manager, shake your hands, and tell them you’re very interested in the job so that they know your face,” Haider said.

First impression is vital which is why Haider stresses the importance of visual appeal and the power clothing can portray in a person. “If you dress well people immediately associate characteristics of talent, kindness, honesty and intelligence.” Furthermore, it also subconsciously evokes the thoughts you have of the organization, “What you wear is the reflection of the opinion you have of the company,” Haider said.

In addition to first impressions and dressing savvy, Haider has three rules in order to succeed for an interview. From the rule of compliment, to the rule of similarity, and to the rule of reciprocation, which are surely to aid any students who need some help with their interviewing skills.

In the rules of compliment, Haider states, “Everyone loves to feel good, so how can we apply that to a job interview? You can do so by researching the company before and then going into the interview and telling them how much you like their mission statement and that they’re a company that they have respected for many years.” Additionally, reading the bio of the interviewer and showcasing your knowledge of them will be sure to flatter them.

In the rule of similarity, connecting has shown to be just as crucial as it is to compliment your potential employer. “Try to find a way to relate to the interviewer. Business deals by percentage create more success if you have something in common. The same logic would apply to a job interview,“ Haider said.

In the the rule of reciprocation Haider claims that sending a follow up email and saying thank you is just as important as the other rules. Even knowing their name is significant as they are obligated to remember and know yours as well.

Many students from undergrad to postgrad can struggle to find a job due to a misguided interview, but by following these rules and guidelines it’s possible for you to wow and impress an employer in any professional environment.

Photography by Brian Nguyen 

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