Job interviews can be stressful and a bit of a mystery. To be successful and improve the probability of being asked back for additional interviews or getting a formal job offer here are some ideas to get you on the right track in your job interview.
Interview preparation is the key to a successful job interview. Do you come across as a positive up-beat individual that can bring value to the position? Your preparation will demonstrate your interest in the job. Preparation will increase your confidence, allow you to give concise measured answers and to ask all the right questions.
Your questions to the interviewer will be used to find out about the employer’s problems and the challenges facing the job. Only with this vital information will you be able to demonstrate you are the best person to solve them.
A vital part of interview preparation is to hold mock interviews, tape them and critique your answers, demeanor and overall presentation. Make sure you smile, are engaged and are actively listening to the questions and comments of the interviewer.
You start with writing possible tough questions on one side of a flash card. Write out you best answer on the other side. Make sure all your answers are positive, clear and concise.
Even if your last boss was from another planet, and no one got along with him; when asked to describe your worst boss and why, go for the positive answer. At the very least you learned what not to do. Keep going over the mock interview until you get it right. Remember in making a movie, they often go through 10-20-30 or more takes until they get it right.
Everyone in their working life has failures. Don’t try to hide your mistakes and come across as a know it all. Freely admit everything has not been perfect. Weave into your answers what critical things you have learned from your mistakes and how they have made you a more valuable employee. If you have a story to add along with a measurable accomplishment, this will give the interviewer added reassurance you are the one for the job.
Make sure the job interview is a two-way street. Failure to ask questions about the challenges facing the position, the priorities facing the job and promotional opportunities will lose you points with the interviewer. A more critical result is you will not have adequate information to make a correct decision if offered the job.
When appropriate use props to make a point. Not everyone has remodeled a kitchen and can show before and after pictures, but you can post a YouTube video of very satisfied participants of a workshop that you produced and hosted. Add the link in your resume cover letter or in your thank you letter after the interview.
If you designed a successful mailer, updated a website that substantially increased traffic all can be used at the appropriate time in a job interview. Practice the use of a prop in your mock interview until it becomes a natural part of your presentation.
Often the job hunter will have a close sequence of two or three job interviews. The feeling is one will come through with a job offer and your job hunting project is cut back or put on hold. What if no job offers are forthcoming or during the lull you do not go after a job that is tailor-made for you? Or it doesn’t take days but weeks or even a month or more for a job offer to be made. Don’t let your job hunting pipeline get empty.
More often than not the last person interviewed has the greatest chance on getting a job offer and hired. When you go through the telephone interview and asked to schedule an interview. Ask for the available times and go for the latest time.
This gives you two benefits. One, you have more time to prepare for the interview, and two, if you are the last one interviewed, everything being about equal, you increase your chance of getting the job offer.
Some jobs require two, three or more interviews. When being passed to the next interviewer ask some questions about the next person you will be seeing. Questions about the next interviewer’s main focus, management style and history with the company are all appropriate. Anything you can learn will help you in your next interview.
Now you have an outline to assist you in improving your job interview performance. A positive, concise interview presentation will show the employer you are a good communicator, have the right attitude and the reassurance you fit in with others working for the employer. All things the employer is looking for in its next new employee.