A Job interview is a test! If you do well, you get the job! Whether this is your first job or the beginning of your career, the interview is important! Why not prepare for it? You can find interview questions and practice answers, dress and groom well and even work on your communication skills. There are a lot more to interviews and here are 10 tips to increase your success.
- Careful, someone is watching – From the moment you arrive, someone is watching you. It may be the receptionist or the hiring manager. It is almost a candid picture of how you act when no one is around. It reveals a great deal about you. It may also include how you interact with the receptionist or anybody else before the interview. Often these candid moments are included in the decision.
- Dress for success – How you dress reveals a great deal about you. No, I was not the fashion police! Did you put together your outfit with care or did you look like a mess? When I owned a restaurant, it was important for perspective employees to be clean and neat. When I interviewed candidates for accounting positions, I wanted people who paid attention to details.
- Listen – Interviews are scary and you are nervous, but you have to listen. Good sales people listen so they can counter or answer customer objections. In any interview you are selling (marketing) your skills for a job. In many cases, your rehearsed answers need to be modified or adapted to a particular question. If you interview for a high tech company, you no doubt will receive some off the wall questions which indicate how you think. There is no correct answer, but you have to think through the question and answer.
- Don’t talk too much – Interviews remind me of IRS audits! If you talk too much, it is over for you. In any interview, you job is to get to the next level which may be another interview or the offer. If you talk too much, you will undoubtedly say the wrong thing. Just answer the questions and make a connection with interviewer.
- Communication skills – Your first interview may be over the telephone with the Human Resources manager. Telephone interviews are difficult because you establish rapport without seeing the other person’s reaction. You should be particularly careful how you express yourself. Remember, your goal is to get the face to face interview!
- Your words matter – Whether we like it or not, interviews are a test! The interviewer is judging how you handle yourself with questions regarding your skills! The job may be a job at McDonald’s or CEO at a Fortune 500 company, use the appropriate language. Bad language is never appropriate! Use the appropriate words, terms, lingo for the job. It is a great way to demonstrate you know the job and skills to do it well. Some employers may try to have you reveal your age by asking certain telltale questions. Try to avoid giving anything away.
- Do you fit on their team or not – Hiring managers are always thinking about how you will fit or not fit on their team. It is one of the reasons you should always try to connect with the interviewer. This is where you reveal your personality and find ways to have something in common.
- Answer the questions – As a hiring manager, I wonder why the candidate did not answer the question. It could be that I did not explain it very well or the candidate does not have the skills to answer it. If you do not understand the question, do not just make a bad attempt at answering it because you will lose. Get clarification and do not be afraid to ask for feedback.
- Ask good questions – Interviews are opportunities to ask as well as answer questions. Asking good questions can be just as impressive as a good answer to their questions. Your goal may be to get another interview or the offer, but ultimately it is your decision to accept the offer. You need to find out information about the job, department and company in order to make an informed decision.
- Don’t appear to be desperate – Do not appear or act desperate in an interview because it will affect your ability to negotiate. This is very different from being interested or excited about an opportunity or job. You want to show enthusiasm, and interest in an interview or why are you there?
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