Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nailing a Job Interview

Most people attend a fair share of job interviews in their lifetime. Convincing your potential employer to choose you among other candidates can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years that helped me get hired:

  • Be Punctual - There is nothing that says don't hire me like showing up late for an interview. Even if you are in a major car crash on the way to the interview, make sure you call and try to reschedule. If anything, get there early.

  • Dress the Part - Don't show up to an interview in wrinkled jeans and sandals.

  • Clammy Hands - If your hands get clammy when you are nervous, run your inner fore arms under cold water before the interview. This will contract your skin pores, constricting your blood flow, and ultimately help keep your hands from sweating.

  • Act the Part - Maintain professional mannerisms at all times, shake the hand of the interviewer upon greeting and exiting the interview. Avoid using slang or literary contractions like y'all.

  • Do Your Research - Nothing says join the club like already knowing the secret hand shake. Google the company, get to know their products and services. Have a good grasp of what the position actually entails.

  • Bring Stuff - Bring a copy of your resume, a pad of paper, a pen, and any letters of recommendation at the very least. If possible leave copies of your supporting documentation with the interviewer.

  • Go Alone - I was debating on whether to include this on the list, but you would be surprised how many people think it is ok to have their kids, or a friend, wait in lobby during an interview.

  • Sit Up - I am as guilty as anyone of not watching my posture. Make sure to sit up straight and show attentiveness.

  • Poker Tell Signs - When people are nervous they do all sorts of weird things. Don't Cross your arms, crack you knuckles, run your fingers through your hair, itch your nose, cough excessively, tap you finger, stretch or yawn.

  • Show Some Character - Talk about how your skills can help the company. Provide examples and avoid using lame non-descriptive lines, like I'm a good worker. Instead state that you regularly receive acknowledgment from you co-workers for your performance.

  • Eye Contact - Don't look around the room with wondering eyes when the interviewer is talking to you.

  • Be Assertive - Confidence sells, let the interviewer feel the passion you have to achieve.

  • Display Strengths and Divert Weakness - Try to talk about your strengths. If asked about a weakness, address the concern, and redirect back to a strength.

  • Stay Calm - Always try to remain calm and collected. Relax.

  • Listen - The interviewer doesn't want to hear your rehearsed monologue ramble on for twenty minutes. Listen to the questions think about the response, and then answer clearly and concisely.

Interviews are a sensitive situation for many. Some people are very adamant about their own rules and tips. Please feel free to comment with your suggestions of things I forgot.

No comments: