Do you think you need some help with your next job interview? Would you like to put your best foot forward and make the best possible impression on your prospective employer to maximize you chances of getting the job that you want? Then come to the One-Stop Career Center and ask our specialists for Interviewing Assistance. You can also check out our online tips.
The following job interviewing suggestions and techniques are available for job seekers:
Job Search Workshops
We have a complete list of resource materials available at the One-Stop Career Center.
Research the company and the position
Do your homework before the interview starts! Ask the employer for a job description and company information. Read annual reports, recruiting literature, recent magazine and newspaper articles, etc. Search the Internet for company information. You should know at least the basic information about the company including its products or services, new initiatives, competitors, home office and subsidiaries, etc. You should also know about the particular position you are applying for including the desired qualifications of candidates, duties, starting location, training program, advancement potential, etc. The more you know about the position, company, and industry, the easier it will be to show the employer you can do the job! How much do you want this particular job? If you really want it, do your homework and show the employer how important getting the job is to you. If you don't want the job very much, he won't want to hire you very much!
Research yourself before the interview
Make sure you do some self-research before the interview. Think about your skills, interests, weaknesses, past experiences, salary and geographic requirements, etc. You must be able to articulate why you are the best candidate for the job. Do not assume that an employer will make connections between your educational and work experiences and the prospective job. It is your job as the job seeker to explain the connections for the interviewer.
Ask for the interview schedule before the interview
If possible, get the name(s) and position(s) of the people with whom you will interview. Greet the interviewer by name and offer a firm handshake. Employees at different levels of the organization may be interested in different things, so be prepared for a variety of questions. People in entry-level positions in general may be more concerned about your ability to do the daily tasks and what you will be like as a co-worker. More senior employees in general may be more interested in the general welfare of the organization and in more global issues.
Generally, for most professional positions, you should wear a suit. Women should wear conservative make up and jewelry. Avoid cologne and perfume as some people are very sensitive to them and may be irritated by particular scents. Some people do not get their desired jobs because the people who interview them can't stand their perfume or aftershave lotion!
Try to relax and portray confidence in your abilities
For some, this is hard advice to take. Keep in mind that an interview is really just a conversation between two people. Most interviewers are not trying to be intimidating and they often want to impress you as much as you impress them. Although you may not feel completely confident about your ability to do the job, try to focus on the positive and convince the employer that you have the skills and personality to fit the bill. After all, if you don't think you can do the job, do you think the recruiter will? Even if you are not positive you want the job, your goal at the interview is to convince the employer you are the best candidate for the job. You can always turn down an offer later. However, a word of caution is in order - while you want to focus on the positive, make sure you answer questions honestly and don't exaggerate your accomplishments. Dishonesty can lead to losing your job, and worse, if it is discovered later.
Show your enthusiasm in addition to your abilities
Companies want to hire employees who are excited and enthusiastic about their work. Don't be afraid to let the employer know you really want to work for the company and are enthusiastic about the kind of work you would be doing. This can be just as important as telling the interviewer about your skills and experiences.
Think about your goals before the interview
Most employers like to hire people who have some plans and goals for their lives. This does not mean that you have to have your next twenty-five years mapped out exactly, but you should be able to articulate why you want to work in the field, as well as what particular positions you feel would suit you well. How does the particular position you are interviewing for fit in with your long-term goals?
Answer questions completely
Although you don't want to be too lengthy in your responses, you should answer questions completely. It is often helpful to state the strength you are discussing, provide an example of how you developed or utilized the skill, and then articulate why the skill would be helpful in the position for which you are applying. Providing examples helps to make the discussion more "real" and believable for the recruiter. In fact, many recruiters now use "behavioral interviewing" in which they ask interviewees to provide a specific example from their past to answer every question. It is based on the premise that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Prepare questions in advance that you will ask the recruiter
Almost all interviewers will ask candidates if they have any questions during the interview. Make sure you have some prepared in advance. If you don't ask any questions, the interviewer might think you are not very interested in the job. Questions should not be ones that are easily answered through basic research that you should have already done. And don't ask only about vacation times and break times and other non-work things. The recruiter will get the idea that you are not interested in the job, but are only interested in the fringe benefits and breaks! If you select your questions correctly, the interviewer will be impressed with your interest. Try to select "good" questions, ones that the interviewer will think are "proper". Be sure however that you ask the questions that would make the "difference" to you between accepting a job offer or turning it down. One of the few things that is worse than not getting the job is getting it and finding out that you should not have taken it!
Write a thank-you letter after the interview
Write a short thank-you letter immediately after the interview thanking the interviewer for his or her time and reiterating your interest in the position.
You should be prepared to answer some commonly asked interview questions.
There are many other really good sites with interview advice that will help you at your next interview.
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