Free Job Interview Blueprint
that Job Interview with Time-Tested Tips and Tricks!
Copyright 2011 Nate Sterling
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If you love this book then you should read [+ Job Interview Blueprints+], a much more detailed and expansive review of everything you should do around the interview to secure your dream job.
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[+ JOB iNTERVIEW BLUEPRINT+]
Table of Contents
[+ JOB iNTERVIEW BLUEPRINT+]
Let’s face it. No one likes to be confronted with their weaknesses or fears. The thought of meeting someone, or something, which is apparently stronger than us has the ability to make most individuals fall to their knees quaking with fear. Unfortunately, this unsettling occurrence is part and parcel of a process that anyone who wishes to land a job, must face.
That’s right, you might have guessed it. This dreaded event is none other than the all important job interview process. Very few people are unafraid of it, and most quake at the very mention of it. Know what the difference is between both groups of people? The former are ones who face this apparently terrifying ordeal by being prepared, while the latter are usually ones who have no idea what to expect!
The great playwright, William Shakespeare once said: “The world is a stage and all of us the actors, merely players with roles to play.” If we compare the nervous job applicant to an actor, then the interview room and potential employees can be considered his/her stage and audience respectively.
Why? That’s because a job interview is an act in which the interviewees are merely players. If you know your parts, then hats off to you, you’ll reap the rewards of your hard work and diligence. If not, well, say goodbye to that executive position you’ve dreamed would be the solution to every problem.
Employers aren’t Ogres in Disguise
Fear not. The good news is that this ordeal isn’t as terrifying as some of your friends are all too eager to make it seem. The first hurdle you have to face is to get rid of the assumption that all employers are monsters in disguise just waiting for the hapless interviewee to step foot in the room and get mercilessly ripped apart. In fact, the reality is, some of these interviewers are just about as nervous as you. I guess that might be hard for you to believe but the reality is that over 60% of interviewers have undergone no form of interview training whatsoever. Most of these “interviewers” have been reported to feel stressed, anxious and nervous, amongst other expressions. Do those words sound familiar? They should, they're most likely the same emotions you might be feeling when you stand in front of them.
In other words, interviewers are human, just like you and me. Though, there are a few types you should be wary of, but you can definitely make a huge impression on any potential employer, no matter the size of the organization or the complexity of the job, with some well-placed questions and answers.
First Impressions Count
The first impression, to a large extent, is what makes or breaks your chances in the job industry. This fact has been drilled into our heads since our high school and college days and is one that will hound you unless you know how to pull it off successfully. In other words, you may pride yourself on your confidence and strong self esteem, but that won’t hold much water if you don’t look the part at first sight. So, dress the part! Your dressing says a whole lot about you to your potential employer before you even get a chance to speak!
Ask Nicely and Answer Wisely
The definition of an interview is that it is a process in which one is asked questions regarding one’s academic and personal qualifications, in relation to the job and position being offered. Needless to say, the answers you give, as well as the way you deliver them count for a lot. Not many people know this, however, but employers are also on the
lookout for interviewees who ask them questions AFTER the interview winds to a close. It tells them a lot about your personality too which is the aim of the interview in the first place.
There are solutions for all the above-mentioned scenarios and more if you keep some simple tips, tricks (not to mention worst case scenarios) in mind. Remember, there is no such thing as an impossible interview scenario if you have a good idea of what to expect and how to meet the interviewer’s expectations. This brings us to the purpose for which you’re reading this book right now: to be prepared to make a big impression with any employer of your choice. You want to emphasize your strengths and play down your weaknesses and prove you fit the job profile like a glove fits a hand.
By the time you get through this book, you’ll understand precisely what questions employers are most likely to ask, what answers they want, why they ask the questions in the first place. All this so that you can get into the mind of the typical employer, that way, you’ll answer questions with the right words 99% of the time.
Chapter 1. How do I Prepare?
That’s a very good question. How indeed do you prepare? See, the thing about job interviews is that they have a nasty tendency to quickly go downhill if you do not prepare yourself in every single area. Your biggest fear should not be to forget what you were supposed to do and say, before and while you’re in the hot seat. There are other things to fear before that. You don’t want your interview going up in smoke before your very eyes just because the employer doesn’t exactly appreciate you going green and skipping your morning shower. He might not say it but you’ll probably just discover that the session ended a lot quicker than you expected, without giving you a chance to prove how suitable you are for the job. All that could happen because you woke up 20 minutes late and wouldn’t have made it to the interview on time otherwise. There are lots of other things you should do to prepare before it’s even time for the interview. Research your prospective employer as much as you possibly can. Every organization worth its salt has some kind of internet presence, probably multiple, take advantage of this and find out details of what they do. It will impress your interviewer if you prove you have an extensive knowledge of the organization’s products, services, customers, managing team, competitors, history and any recent news that might be of immediate relevance. Learn as much as you can about the duties and roles you might have to take in the case of you being employed and try to relate any previous experience or academic work you might have done to that role. The key to standing out in any interview is proving to the interviewer that you can add value to the organization in the desired role.
Communicating effectively is key. Remember, you will have a harder time trying to butter up the interviewer with slick sounding answers that have no conviction in them; you’d be better off just going with your gut. In other words, just be yourself.
The Purpose of Job Interviews
Job interviews are meant to find out how suitable you are for a particular position/role and there are different ways employers try to achieve that purpose. Not every job interview is the same. You cannot expect every employer to interview you the same way that the previous one did, so obviously there is more than one way to tackle an interview.
Unfortunately, there is also more than one type of interview that you will have to learn to prepare for as well. You would probably have, or already have, come across the following types of interview sessions—
Employer Interviews—This type of job interview you have to go through depends on your prospective employer. Employer interviews are designed to assess whether you fit the bill. In other words, they determine whether you are eligible for the job. They usually come in series.
The first level makes up the screening while the second level includes the candidates who made it through the initial screening stage. Land yourself invites to later interviews and it’s likely you have got it made!
Recruitment Agency Interviews—Like the name implies, these types of agencies are responsible for helping you find a job. This means that their main source of income is the employers (or recruiters) and not you as you would have thought.
Just because some agencies claim that they are there to help further your interests does not mean that they always end up doing so. In fact, most of these establishments are only designed to cater to the interests of the companies responsible for paying them.
In other words, they will try to put you in “any” job that can earn them their own living. This is why you need to look out for an agency that incorporates your needs as well as its own. Land yourself an agency that does that and you can be sure that you will be trained in the tricks that will get you in any employer’s good books.
Internal Human Resources (HR) or Personnel Interviews—These types of interviews might seem to be the easy type since HR interviewers do not usually question you about any job related technical skill. This is because they are not the actual employers that you will need to answer to later.
It might also seem that these people might just want to “get to know you better” on a personal level, but be careful. Don’t forget that these are trained professionals. In other words, they are “trained” to extract any info out of you, so it is better that you stay on your guard. Don’t try to fool them on any issues either as they will most likely know that you are trying to do so.
Get that Paperwork Done
Besides the interview, your paperwork will be all that will be working in your favor, so make sure that it is in proper order.
Your paperwork should – obviously – include your resume, every document that pertains to the type of interview you are planning to undergo, as well as a copy of relevant application forms. Always remember to bring along copies of everything to hand in if there is a need. Nothing makes you seem more disorganized than you rushing around to get any necessary printouts at the last minute. There are a few things I’d like to note about preparing your resume to attract the attention of a potential employer. I cannot overstate that the content and preparation of your resume is absolutely vital, after all it’s the main factor that will decide if you get called up for an interview or not . Your resume should be designed to market the qualities you have towards meeting the needs of the specific employer that you are currently trying to get a job with. For example, try to tie specific tasks that you might have performed in a previous job to what you would be expected to do in a new role with your potential employer. If you do not have any previous work experience, maybe you’re fresh out of college; list any assignments, research work or activity that you feel the employer might be interested in i.e. provided it is related to the job you have in your sights. The aim of the resume, like your overall objective, is to make you stand out from the hundreds of applications each employer is likely to receive, this however, should be written in as few words as possible, you’ll have ample opportunity to expand on your achievements later on in the course of your job quest.
Research the Organization
It literally “pays” to know your employer, and more so if you do your research. Make sure to research the type of company or organization that you are aiming to get in. This might also include where it is located and whether the location is feasible for you to reach if you do get hired.
If you want to go for larger corporations, you can make use of many written resources that can brief you about them as well as their staff preferences and company cultures. These can be anything from business directories (that can be located in the reference section of local libraries) to public relation brochures companies distribute themselves. However, nothing can beat the internet as far as fast paced research is concerned. This is also why almost every type of company and industry makes it a point to have websites equipped to brief anyone about what they do.
Assessing your own strengths and weaknesses will help you out in the long run, as painful as the process might seem, it is crucial to the employment process. You should take the time to come to terms with your own strengths and weaknesses and adapt them to the employer’s needs as well.
You can start off with your resume. Remember, employers or interviewers will be looking out for both your strong and weak points. It is better to ask yourself questions that will give you a clear understanding of where you stand at the moment. Questions like—
What are my major skills?
How have I chosen to utilize them where I worked before?
What are my major achievements and can I relate them to the employer’s requirements as well?
What are my weaknesses?
The purpose of any job interview is to argue your case where the documents and credentials in your resume cannot. Just remember that you will only be able to do so if you have a thorough honest understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses.
Also, make it a point to ask plenty of relevant questions at interviews. This may help you keep track of where you might have gone wrong before and can also prevent you from making the same mistakes next time.
Be on Time!
I cannot stress this point enough! You do not want to end up giving a bad impression by coming in late for an interview. Not only does this make a prospective employer think twice about hiring you, but it also makes you look out to be unprofessional.
Try to get up at least 3 hours before you have to leave so that you can have plenty of time to calm those nerves and eat a healthy breakfast to sustain it. A word for the wise, try not to eat anything that’s loaded with onions, garlic or anything else that could give you bad breath. Good first impressions remember? You don’t want the only thing an interviewer remembers about the chat with you to be how bad your breath stinks. Believe me; he/she wouldn’t want you anywhere near them every day, you might as well kiss a job good bye no matter how well suited you are for the job.
Chapter 2. How to Make a Good Impression
Like I’ve stated earlier first impressions have the ability to make or break your chances in any organization you opt for. An untied shoelace can literally trip you up in front of your competition, while scuffed footwear can go a long way in booting you out of reckoning altogether. It might seem farfetched right now but you never know and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Remember, the way you dress speaks volumes about your personality AND the way you were raised. If you go with the ‘innocent’ Dorothy look (bright red shoes and short baby doll skirt) for instance chances are you’ll be ushered out the door before you even have a chance to introduce yourself properly! You’d really be wishing you hadn’t left the comfort of your bed then wouldn’t you?
This goes for all the men out there as well. A simple slack and shirt combo never hurt anyone! It’s also a good idea to save that jacket you wore at your cousin’s wedding but only if it’s NOT a tuxedo. You’re going to a job interview, not a red carpet event.
If you’re still stumped then maybe the following guidelines can make you choose the right outfit to make those employers sit up and take notice:
Guys, let’s face it. You have to wear that snappy looking suit to your interview if you want them to appreciate your professional attitude towards the position. Suits make the man and they have an especially strong impact in the corporate world for a reason.
Not just any suit will do of course. It’s important to be aware of the range of options available to you from a most professional look to a less powerful, but more comfortable one. When it comes to suits, however, it’s always a better idea to go with one that matches your tastes but doesn’t restrict your windpipe!
The suits that portray a dynamic image tend to be on the darker side. Navy blue is always a favorite while medium to dark grey suits have a tendency to convey a more sober and serious personality. Try and avoid black as much as you can: this is an opportunity to get the job of your dreams, not make the atmosphere as somber as a funeral! Plus, employers may also feel you’re trying to project a cocky attitude by choosing such a dark shade.
If you want to project a more easygoing and comfortable personality, then your best bet would be to go for navy blue, camel, or beige for your suit color. If you want to portray a more laid back attitude then a sports coat and slacks can also be used to make anyone fall for your charms. You can even mix and match by going for a navy sport jacket with medium grey slacks for an assertive, but less threatening look.
The main thing to keep in mind while standing in front of that wardrobe is the look you want to present and what you believe is appropriate for the job you’re asked to come in for. Many people make the mistake of either over dressing or under dressing for a job interview that demands professionalism.
A good blend of a natural fiber with something synthetic added in, might pass for the real deal like wool, wool blends or fabrics. You can even find summer weight wool suits that are comfortable and look good at the same time.
Try and go for a tailored look rather than the trendy one (unless the job you’re applying for represents the fashion industry). Look on the bright side, a classic, tailored suit will serve you best several years to come even after you land that job. No running around for you when that corporate dinner comes around.
When it comes to the all important shirt, light colors have never hurt anyone. Select one that is several shades lighter than the color of your suit. Long sleeves and white shirts have always been popular choices for those in the corporate sector. Pin stripes and solid colors are also preferred by some.
Ties may seem restrictive but they do a good job of bringing the whole ‘professional’ look together. Silk is a good material to go for if you want to portray a more stylish look while the pattern you choose must look good on you, be conservative and most important, GO WITH THE REST OF THE OUTFIT! When it comes to shoes on the other hand, dark colors are always a better choice with socks to match.
You would think that women would have a variety of choices and talent when it comes to selecting the perfect outfit for any occasion, but you would be wrong there. While men have the advantage of wearing suits only, women have a harder time making the right choice.
No need to worry. There isn’t much difference between what men and women should wear to make a good impression for a job opening. Like their male counterparts, women should also pick a more conservative look for that all important event. Picking a matching skirt and jacket combo can also help you make a good impression.
If you want to go for a less powerful look but not lose out on professionalism, then you can mix and match a base skirt or blouse of one color with a jacket of another. This will help you look more eager and yet project seriousness. Gray, navy or camel colors are also good ones to go for.
Like the men’s suits, your outfit of choice should also be made from a natural blend of fibers, or must look like it does. You can similarly go for winter weight wool or wool blends as well, but you may not find many of them in the summer months. Try and pick out a fabric that has the look of textured silk or its blend variety next time you go shopping for a look that just screams professionalism.
You can also buy silk blouses if you can afford them but do try and keep the price as well as the cleaning bill in mind though. There is no shame in choosing fabric that looks and feels like the real deal. Long sleeved ones can give you a more assertive look, while appropriate necklines can complement the lines of the suit jacket you choose. DO NOT, under any circumstances, choose a blouse or shirt with a plunging neckline. It’s more off putting than ‘attractive’ and can seriously jeopardize your chances with the employers as well as portray the wrong image.
Accessories are a girl’s best friend. Nothing can bring the whole look of an outfit to a classy level than some earrings and bangles to match. For a job interview on the other hand, the less jewelry you wear, the more you will increase your chances of dazzling them in that interview room. Silk scarves or necklaces can be used to enhance the dress you choose without overpowering it. Simple low heeled pumps, (with little to no decoration), can also help give you a more polished yet professional look.
Try and minimize the things you’ll have to carry by bringing a simple looking attaché case instead of a purse. Your papers or resume won’t fit in the latter item for one thing and handling both at the same time is a juggling act best left to circus professionals. To conclude on this, I’ll say it never hurts to call in at your interviewer’s office to find out exactly how you’re expected to dress.
Break the Ice
The chances of getting tongue tied at interviews are high, that’s for sure. No, that long corridor from the waiting area to the interview room in itself does not really have the ability to drain your confidence. It’s your own nerves that make that golf ball sized lump form in your throat and everything in your head go blank.
There’s no need to worry though. Everyone experiences the jitters once in a while. All you have to do is break the ice with your ‘impressive’ personality by making small talk as soon as you sit down. Try commenting on how neat the office is or how cute the kids in that picture frame look. Of course, these ‘innocent’ comments should only be used if the atmosphere or the job is a bit casual. You DON’T want to annoy them by being too familiar too soon.
If you find yourself in a conference room on the other hand, you can be a bit cleverer by describing something you saw while you were coming in. For instance, you can show your appreciation for the other employees by saying how well they treated you.
You can also make a good impression by commenting on the impressive multimedia equipment in the room. To make them really fall for you, try and name the brand specifics of that gadget. Employers will be more willing to hire you if they know that you like to keep yourself aware of things as well as an uncanny eye for detail.
To start the ball rolling, you can try and initiate the conversation yourself. Never be afraid of having your voice heard. It shows that you have confidence in your abilities, without seeming arrogant.
You might begin by commenting on the positives of the ‘lovely weather’ outside even when it’s raining cats and dogs out there. Employers may just be impressed by your optimistic nature and can-do attitude. Commenting on the ‘impressive’ layout of the building can also make you shine in their eyes, just say something to lighten up the mood and you might be surprised by how quickly the atmosphere of the interview will change in your favor.
When the conversation starts, try not to rush in too quickly and get carried away. Most interviewers start off with small talk to make you comfortable before they start the actual interview. This is why you have to keep your answers short and to the point as well. No one likes a person who seems to like the sound of his/her own voice too much, it portrays you as being an arrogant (or close minded) person.
A positive mindset is one of the most important qualities that interviewers look for. Why? If you prefer the bright side of things, then that means that you are an easy person to work with and get along with most people. Nothing gums up the works in any project more than someone who picks fights with everyone possible.
A good way to show this positive quality is to keep a bright smile on your face even if you’d gone through hell before that interview or you had to wait for 3 hours before your turn came. You won’t be doing anyone any favors, least of all yourself, if you were to walk in with a face that could make a child cry!
Think of it this way. If you start complaining about the horrible traffic conditions and ‘crazy’ drivers as soon as you sit down, what do you think your chances are if the job requires you to travel? Telling them that your trip to the office was filled with bad experiences won’t win you any points with employers who expect you to be on time for work!
A clever way to explain or comment on your lateness in such a situation is to turn the scenario around in your favor. You can end it on a positive note by saying, “I had a tough time coming to work at my last job, but coming here from home is going to be much easier.” See? No harm, no foul and you end up smelling like roses. Oh and there’s no shame in asking for a glass of water if your nerves get the better of you. A dry throat can make you sound like a parrot, which can be quite unnerving to say the least. Those few extra seconds can also give you the time to gather your wits about.
In the end, what you have to do is to keep a NATURAL smile on your face. Most employers can spot a fake smile a mile away and a painted grin won’t help you win any brownie points either. Keep negative comments to yourself, and whatever you do, DON’T BADMOUTH YOUR PREVIOUS BOSS!
How to Play the Waiting Game
Waiting your turn in the office reception area can be described as the most nerve wracking experience for anyone. Keeping negative thoughts of defeat and self pity from entering your mind at times like these takes quite a bit of work. While maintaining that calm exterior outlook and inner confidence is a task that can bring some people to their knees, you certainly don’t want to falter at that particular time.
Remember what was said earlier about employers not being ogres in disguise? Relax, because it’s true. They’re people just like you and won’t mind if you decide to wait at some other place besides the office, they probably won’t even notice as long as you make it back into the office on time for your interview.
Actually, it’s a better idea to wait elsewhere if you have to come early. You may even have to wait in a nearby café or restaurant if you came a few hours before the time of your appointment. This is a good thing! Relaxing in a small bistro can help calm those nerves like nothing else. You’ll even be in the right frame of mind to make some last minute preparations and do some late rehearsals.
DON’T wait in a pub or bar, except you’re interviewing for the job of barman or girl! Most people are very sensitive to cigarette smoke and sitting for an interview while smelling like a walking cigarette stick will only hurt your chances of landing that position.
If, there is no other place to wait outside the building, then don’t get there too early. You may seem desperate! Try and be nice to the receptionist as well. Tell her/him that you would like to be announced at least 5 minutes before your interview time so that you can get ready.
Eating and drinking before a crucial interview is fine, but of course, like other things, only if you don’t overdo it. Some interviews can last for more than hour, especially if you have to impress more than one potential employer and the position is vital to a number of departments. When it comes to food, on the other hand, try and have a light snack while waiting. Too much snacking may make you sleepy, while too little may make your stomach protest in the middle of the discussion! You really don’t want awkward scenarios like that.
Fidgeting because you have a toilet emergency won’t make your potential employer see you in a good light, it’ll make you lose concentration and your discussion might not come off quite the same way you were hoping it would go. Whatever you do, keep away from alcohol when you have an interview. A little liquid courage might help you calm those nerves, but it can also make you over-confident, a quality that is usually looked down upon by most interviewers. Besides, the odor of alcohol on the breath carries a lot farther than you might think and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to give the interviewer the impression you’re an alcoholic. I’m sure there’s no company that would be pleased to waste resources on sending its employees for alcohol addiction treatment.
You’ll have to keep a few things with you while waiting your turn. Take a copy of the job advert with you for one thing, as well as any materials regarding the company’s profile. Have a last minute read through, wherever you decide to wait it out, to refresh your memory and you’ll be good to go. This will do a great job of calming those nerves.
Chapter 3. What Your Body Says About YOU
You may think that you’re the coolest and calmest person ever, but your body language CAN say otherwise! From shaking hands to nervous twitches, anything your limbs decide to do at the worst possible moment can have the tendency of ruining your chances. You can avoid those embarrassing scenes, however, by keeping a few things in mind as you’re called in.
The All Important Handshake
Ah yes, the famous handshake. They are used in a plethora of different rituals, but did you know that the level of pressure you use can have a number of different meanings?
Don’t panic! Many people dread shaking hands since it’s the first direct contact they have with their potential employers. It’ll only takes a few seconds but the handshake tells an employer more than any resume ever can. If you have sweaty palms, for instance, then you can probably say goodbye to that position you had your eye on. WIPE THEM OFF before any introductions are made. Interviewers will instantly know that you’re very nervous, which won’t look good for you, especially if the position requires a strong-willed employee.
But what if you’re called before you’ve time to do that? That’s easy. Just casually run your hands down your shirt as if you want to ‘iron’ out any creases. Or better yet, just rest your right hand on your leg while waiting and say goodbye to those wet palms!
Word to the wise, whatever you do, don’t wipe your hands when it’s time for the handshake. They might think you have low self esteem. However, this scenario won’t be as bad as wiping them off AFTER they shake your hand. Even if it has a trace of mustard on it, don’t reach for that Kleenex!
Then we have the ‘dead fish’ grip. You know the one where you let your hand go all floppy and lifeless. Don’t do that! This will instantly be seen as low self esteem on your part. In fact, they may even think you’re not comfortable shaking hands at all! Doing the opposite, is not such a good idea either. Gripping your interviewer’s hand as if you’re trying to break it off will only annoy them. You can come across as too aggressive as well.
Your best bet would be to take your lead from the one who’s taking your interview. If he/she gives you a strong grip, then make yours like it. If the interviewer seems a bit elderly, then try to be a bit gentle. You may come across as being over confident and insensitive if you press too hard.
Now we come to the Perfect Handshake. Yes, there is one. All you have to do is grasp his/her hand palm to palm and match the amount of pressure they’re using (as mentioned before). Count to 3, release and follow it up with a smile and eye contact.
The Eyes Reveal All!
They say eyes are the windows to the soul. Guess where this applies as well. You got it! Making that eye to eye contact can speak volumes about your capabilities and your confidence level. It can even tell the interviewer how much you trust him/her.
Maintaining eye contact will help you figure out whether the person in front of you actually understands what you’re saying or not. If they space out for instance, try and tone down that speech you prepared. No one likes a blabbermouth anyway.
Your ‘poker face’ will help you here! The more open your face is, the more comfortable you’ll make them. Employers will be more willing to hire you if they know you’re an easy going person, since it’ll mean that you’re a team person. Plus you’ll seem more polite if you keep at it. If you keep shifting your eyes, on the other hand, employers may think you’re either too nervous or that you have something to hide.
There are 2 ways of getting the perfect eye contact according to the situation you find yourself in: as a listener and as a speaker. If you’re listening to your (hopefully) future employer, you need to make a lot more eye contact. It makes sense if you think about it. The speaker will appreciate your qualities more if you seem like you’re trying to capture the essence of every word they’re saying.
When the time comes for you to speak, on the other hand, then your best bet will be too to keep the eye contact to a minimum. Keep staring at them for too long and they may think you have a serious problem, if you know what I mean. About 5 to 10 seconds is enough to connect with the interviewer. Reduce the time after that to lower the intensity of your gaze so that they don’t think you’re trying to start a staring match.
Remember-maintaining eye contact will help you get that flow you desperately need for a good rapport to develop. The situation may even turn against you if the employer thinks that you’re trying to have a battle of wills or are trying to be too familiar! Shifting your gaze is ok, but only if you bring it back just as quickly.
Good Posture Speaks Louder Than Words
Believe it or not, most interviewers can figure out the type of person you are just by observing you on that hot seat! The way you sit says a lot about your character and can also speak volumes about the way you think. However, being too conscious of the way you present yourself, may result in quiet a few blunders on your part.
The good news is that it doesn’t take much to achieve that correct posture. The first thing you have to learn is to keep your hands, arm and elbows to yourself. Keep them off the desk if there is one in front of you and try to keep your focus on the one who is interviewing you. Don’t look at them blankly if you have no idea what to do with them! You can either steeple or fold them to reduce some of that nervousness.
Sitting straight is a very good habit to practice. A ‘strong backbone’ has the ability to make you seem confident and attentive at the same time, while a slumped one can make you seem bored and thus, disrespectful. Try not to lean back on that comfy sofa they provided you. A posture like that may communicate that you like talking about yourself more than listening to the interviewer.
The best sitting posture would be to sit up straight while leaning slightly in your seat. This is a non-verbal way to say that you’re interested in what they’re trying to say. Try and keep your feet on the floor instead of crossing them if you’re in full view since it might come off as an informal posture. It will also prevent your feet from jiggling, which is also a sign of nervousness.
You’re allowed to move about a bit in your chair if you want to get rid of any stiffness in your body after sitting still for so long. Relaxing your shoulders is also a good idea, but not enough that you start to slump forward! Place your hands on the armrests (if there are any) or on your lap so that you can use them to make a point more interesting. Interviewers are more impressed with people who are expressive with their hands and often see it as a sign of confidence in your abilities. But try not to get overexcited by flailing those arms all over the place. Short of seeming crazy, you might come across as being over-confident if you’re not careful.
Make nerves work for you
Being nervous isn’t just about feeling depressed, or a bit anxious. Some people consider full out panic attacks as signs of nervousness, while some deal with it a lot better. This
horrifying emotion has the ability to make your knees go weak, your throat dry up and your bowels to loosen in the typical flight or fight instinct.
Not only that, but a panic attack at the worst possible moment can seriously reduce your chances of making a ‘sane’ impression on the interviewer. Let’s face it. No one is going to hire you if you can’t keep stop your teeth chattering long enough to answer!
This may seem like another thing you have to think about in an already stressful situation, but keeping those nerves in check can help you answer those interview questions more easily. The good news is that nerves CAN be controlled and can even be made into an unconscious effort on your part!
Thought vs. Emotions
Think about it. Is it really your emotions that make your knees buckle whenever you think of that upcoming interview?
The thing is, the problem lies more in what you’re thinking at the moment rather than what you’re feeling. If you’re in a situation that makes you scared for instance, the emotion generated will be fear. If the thought running through your mind is whether or not you
might get the job, then you might be feeling nervous or anxious. Similarly a sense of hopelessness might set in if you think you didn’t do well.
See? The thoughts running through your head are what impact the emotions you feel at the moment. Anyone who feels too anxious or too scared will obviously have a hard time functioning in normal situations, let alone a job interview. However, this provides a good chance for you to nip this problem in the bud! In other words, get rid of the unwanted thoughts and you’ll get rid of those emotions unwanted emotions like fear and anxiety, it’s not going to be easy but it’s a battle you can definitely win.
Just think happy thoughts in the meanwhile (I can do this! This is a piece of cake!) and you’ll do just fine.
Remember, the more you practice this technique, the better your chances will be of making a great impression in that question and answer session. Accept as many interview calls as you can (provided you get them) and critique yourself after each one, note the things you did or said wrong and areas you could have done better in, there’s no greater teacher than experience. This will allow you to hone your skills and manage your nerves so that you can do better next time.
Chapter 4. The Interview!
There’s no backing out of it now! Don’t make a dash for that door just yet. The question and answer session is the most important part of the whole process after all. Okay, take deep breaths, inhale deeply then exhale. Relaxed yet? Good. There are some questions and possible answers you have to absorb before you’re called into the office.
Keep in mind that the majority of the questions that will be thrown at you will be about YOU. You might be asked what your qualifications are, how you think and behave, what your goals in life are etc. There’s nothing to worry about. No one knows you better than yourself after all.
On the other hand, if you were so sure of yourself you wouldn’t still be reading now would you? Your major concern is probably how to present your answers as impressively as you can right? No need to worry. Whether you’re a wet-behind-the-ears graduate, or looking for another job after a storied career that’s the stuff of legends, the questions and answers that you’ll find on the latter pages will help you nail that interview.
What the Interviewer Wants
The first misconception you have to let go of is that interviewers are monsters in disguise! You will rarely come across one that doesn’t smile as you enter the room, for one thing. That’s because it’s their job to make you comfortable with the whole process. They know how easy it is for even professionals to trip up once in a while. No one’s perfect after all.
That doesn’t mean you should throw down those defenses altogether. They’re not your buddies looking to hand you that job on a platter; they’re working in the best interests of the organization and of course themselves, not you! Interviewers are usually either senior employees or the boss himself. Hiring a new employee is a risky and expensive business. No employer will never consider someone they think is not serious enough to handle the position they’re offering. An interview is the only thing that can tell them everything they need to know about your ability to handle the specifics of the position.
Remember, the employer wants to hire someone he/she knows will be worth the salary and benefits they’re offering. They also look for someone who they know will benefit them both inside and outside the company walls. This includes your attitude towards co-workers and managers inside the organization itself. The following are some of the questions that usually go through an interviewer’s mind while you’re sweating it out on that hot seat:
Why should I take you on?
What type of person are you?
Will you make a good addition to the company? If so, then why exactly?
Can he/she be loyal?
Will he/she be responsible?
Does he/she have a can-do attitude?
Do your qualifications display that? If not, then why?
How much will you cost the company?
Will he/she add value to the company operations?
Is he/she an improvement on the staff we currently have?
These questions might sound scary, I know. No worries though. Most interviewers will not ask you these questions head on. If they did, of course the answers to each one would be yes. They will ask other questions similar to them which may give them clues regarding your professional AND personal behavior.
You see, interviewers want to see another side of you, one that goes beyond your resume and ‘amazing’ achievements. They will be looking for:
Decision making skills.
The last one is the most vital to look out for, and all that preening in front of the mirror won’t help. Employers are looking for someone who has what it takes to get the job done, not someone who only looks the part. Your personality and attitude must be on a level with their own expectations (calm and cool) so to speak, at least more often than not.
For The College Graduate
Ah yes. So you’re a college graduate, right? All those nights of putting your nose to the grindstone will definitely pay off in that interview room if you believe in yourself. Sounds like a cliché, but this saying works wonders for the nerves (as mentioned before). This confidence will be your biggest asset especially for those who probably have little or no relevant work experience.
First things first. Best to know what they’ll be looking for before you go in especially:
The subject you decided to major in.
Any scholarships you may have won.
Whether you participated in any extra-curricular activities or not.
These details will give an idea of your potential as a future employee, as well as your ability to grow in their organization. Expect to be asked the following for starters:
Why did you choose higher education/why did you attend university?
What did you major and minor in and why?
Which were your favorite subjects and why?
What subject was your least favorite and why?
Your mind may go blank for a second there, but don’t panic! These questions are a way for them to figure out why you made certain choices in your life, so that they can decide if you’re likely to practice them in the work place or not.
Your answers should be based on rational reasons rather than spur of the moment ones, even if your actions were ‘accidental’ at the time. When asked the reason you attended your university for instance, you can describe your chosen subjects (like History or Geography) according to the academy’s “excellent” staff and lofty reputation in those areas.
This answer will be like killing two birds with one stone, really. It will stress the fact that your choices were deliberate and conscious ones according to specific goals you had in mind. In other words, this answer will prove to those employers that you are a strong-minded and clear-thinking individual who excels at making the right choices when it comes to his/her growth and career objectives.
Other questions you may be asked may be about any goals or achievements you had during your time as a student. This is the question to look out for as it’s asked so as to test whether you have the drive they need to hire you as an employee. For instance, you may be asked:
What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?
What would you change about your college education if you could?
There are many ways you can answer either of these questions, but it’s best to stick with one that you feel comfortable with. If your grades weren’t, shall we say, standard quality ones, then you can turn the situation in your favor by saying you would change your study habits, or take more time to get to know your books if given the chance. This answer will show them that you felt you made a mistake and will not let yourself repeat it. DON’T BADMOUTH YOUR PROFESSORS! You’re the only one who’ll look bad in the end.
Interviewers also like to know whether you have the character traits they want for the position they’re offering. This is where your loving family comes in! Be prepared for the following question:
Did your family have any influence over your education/college choice?
Answer this question carefully. Don’t let personal feelings enter the conversation by complaining about a family member. Be diplomatic by saying that they helped you in researching suitable universities, but they also thought you responsible enough to make the final decision. This will show the interviewers that you’re a responsible adult rather than a wet-behind-the-ears kid. That question, however, won’t give you as much trouble as being asked:
Have you read any books that really inspired you?
Oh dear. What to do if you’re not much of a book worm? Whatever you do, DON’T rattle off the names of books that you never cracked open! What will you do if they asked you what you read in them? (This is the case more often than not). You’ll really be up the creek without a paddle then.
Don’t panic. Even if you’re not much of a reader, just turn the situation to your advantage by saying that you haven’t had the time to read any books lately (on account of your ‘busy’ schedule), but there was an interesting article that really inspired you.
For The ‘Experienced’ Individual
Now we come to the experienced employee who wants to see what else the world has to offer. One would think that these people must have been around the block when it comes to answering hard hitting interview questions, but that’s where you’re wrong. Leaving a job isn’t easy. You have to take stock of your life and whether you think you’ve gathered enough experience to make that hard choice.
Guess what? The employers you go to now WILL ask those questions and more! That experience will either make you shine in their eyes or make you seem as dull, especially if they think you left too early. They will basically be looking at:
Your level of experience in the field.
How much you may cost them.
Whether you’re a team player or not.
What you learned from your last job.
Achievements in your previous workplace
This last point will either make or break your chances with them. No one will hire someone who doesn’t care much for experience. That being said, you should expect to be confronted with the following question:
Why did/do you want to leave your job?
Now you can answer this in either of two ways. If you left your last job after a period of 2-3 years for instance, you can say that you didn’t feel challenged enough or that you felt you could do better. However, be sure to start out on a positive note by talking about what you did learn. If nothing else you can say that your job helped you be better organized and gave you the confidence to see what else you can do. Plus saying that you’re ready to take on more responsibilities will also make them think about hiring you. Word to the wise-NEVER start off by badmouthing your previous position. Most employers see that as a negative, rather than a positive trait (more on this later).
This makes us comes to a very important issue. Always use positive language when addressing the interviewer! This useful trait will show that you’re an easy going individual that thinks before making decisions. The language you use should also reflect your enthusiasm for the job, as well as your honest nature.
Keep in mind that whatever questions you’re asked will be mostly based on clarifying whether you’re qualified for the job or not. This includes technical questions, your ability to work with certain equipment/people, programs etc and especially:
What are your qualifications/Why should we hire you?
Yes, you’ll be asked this, even though all those details are in your resume. This is their way of figuring out whether you are all that the piece of paper says you are. This is also a chance for them to test your communication skills and whether you actually have the skills that are listed in your CV.
This is nothing to laugh at! You have no idea how many people mess up this ‘easy’ question. Some forget what they listed, while others forget what they learned during them!
This is also a good chance for you to really get into the process! Try and relate any skills or achievements that stood you apart from the rest of your colleagues. Detailed examples and precise numbers will have much more influence than long winded speeches with little substance, mind you. For instance, saying that your 10 year stay with your last company made them increase sales by an average of 15% each year is a good start (ONLY if it’s true!).
Also, be sure to mention how much you improved over the years and how you did it. Bringing out records of your performance will also serve to show them how responsible and serious you are about your job. It’s also a good idea to refer to your skills and qualifications according to those achievements to give them a more realistic tone. This question may be followed by:
What do you like most about your job?
Now this question is asked to figure out your work values, or how you see your work in other words. This is a good time to let go of any anger or frustration regarding your last job or one you’re currently working in. What will you do if they decide to check up on your ‘achievements’ with your last boss?
Try and be as diplomatic as you can by describing the same values your last boss liked. This includes focusing on performance, productivity and the all important, timely schedules/deadlines! Salary and benefits must not come into the equation yet. Remuneration is VERY important I know, but you may seriously hurt your chances if they think that your primary motivation is money. You may also come out as being a little selfish don’t you think? Oh, and saying that nothing makes you more satisfied than satisfied customers or increased workplace productivity can also make your credibility rise considerably in your interviewers’ eyes.
Try not to lay on the butter too thick though, fakes are a dime a dozen and it won’t take too long for these professionals to spot one either.
Now’s also a good time to mention any new ideas you suggested to your boss that helped the business or company productivity in any way. You can say that you liked the fact that your last boss welcomed suggestions or critique as well as any ideas the employees had. This will show them that you’re a team player who works well with higher-ups in the organization. On the other hand, they may even ask you this:
What did you like least about your last job?
This may the opposite of the last question but that doesn’t mean you should take it easy for this one. Again, it’s a good idea to mention a ‘negative’ you had a hand in managing instead of complaining! You’ll come out looking better in the end and the employer will also see that you’re cool-minded when it comes to office politics.
The ability to solve problems and put out fires (not the actual kind) holds great importance with all organizations for obvious reasons. You can refer to that by stating that you always got your work done on time and rarely sat for overtime because of it. Trust me, no employer likes their employees working long hours if they can help it. Saying you liked to stick to a fixed schedule will only make you shine more in their eyes. They know, more than anyone, how too much stress can affect both the body and the mind and drop productivity.
Avoid Verbal Traps And Pitfalls
Now we come to the part of the interview every potential employee fears the most. There may come a time when those ‘angelic’ interviewers will try to trip you up with complex or tricky questions. Don’t worry; they’re not doing it because they have anything against you. These questions may sweep you off your feet for a while but answering them isn’t as difficult as you might have thought.
Remember what was said about interviews being the only thing that they have to get to know you? These questions tell them the most important thing about you: your character. Be ready to be faced with this one right off the bat:
What do you like\don’t like about your last/recent boss?
Never be in a hurry to answer this question if you can help it! This part of the interview has gotten trickier all of a sudden. This question will probably be asked to see whether you let little things get to you or not. Granted, having to manage a ‘difficult’ boss can make anyone tear their hair out in frustration, but that doesn’t mean you can badmouth him/her the first chance you get. This is your chance to show them what you’re made of! Answer it in a way that appeals to the employer and also makes you out to be a ‘saint.’
If the anger is too much to bear, then pause for a while to ‘think’ out your answer. They’ll understand. They know that it takes a strong backbone, not to mention strong self esteem to deal with such people. However, those qualities are exactly what you have to show them with your answer.
A clever way to do that is to refer to any good points that the organization as a whole had like their emphasis on solid management or their insistence on punctuality. These are safe answers since it will not only speak volumes about your ‘easygoing’ nature, but it will also put your last boss in a more favorable light.
You still have to answer carefully even if you really liked your last boss. Too many compliments may make you seem like a pushover and can even suggest that you don’t like to work on bettering yourself.
You may even be faced with a circumstance where the interviewer may get something wrong about you. They may say the name of your institute wrong for instance, or the number of years you worked in your last company. The first one isn’t so bad and can be let go of, but look out for mistakes like the second one. Failure to correct them may lead to a miscommunication that can seriously damage your chances of being hired.
Whatever you do NEVER exaggerate anything you did in previous roles. it might seem like a good idea at the interview but you may not be able to live up to yours or your future employer’s high standards.
Other Common Questions Asked At Interviews
Why would you want to work for this organization?
Here’s another question where thorough research would be quite helpful. It’s another opportunity to show what you know about the company operations. Take your time to pick an answer, it’s important to relate it to your long term goals.
Tell me about your dream job.
This is a tricky question where you require a lot of diplomacy. Try not to mention a specific job or position stick with a more generic answer like “I’d love to work somewhere that has a good worker atmosphere and where I’ll have the freedom to be creative with my work”.
Chapter 5. Types of interviewers and How to Handle Them
Of course not ALL employers will treat you with the same level of respect. There can be a few bad apples in the bunch, as well as some who don’t seem too sure about themselves. The key is to take the whole situation in your stride and deal with each according to their behavior.
Of course, that means you have to practice a certain level of patience yourself. Your future won’t look so bright if you manage to throttle the first employer you come across. Following are some of these loose canons and the ways you should handle them:
Now this type of employer is one who can’t keep his/her eyes to themselves, if you know what I mean. If you happen to see their gaze move somewhere on you that causes discomfort then try and ignore it as long as the interview lasts at first. You may be mistaken after all, but if the problem continues on the other hand, then either tell him/her that you’re not comfortable, or just ignore it, get done with the interview and leave.
You don’t want to work with a boss that has other things on his mind anyway. Self respect is important and someone who can’t respect personal boundaries especially in a professional environment does not deserve your services in the first place.
The Laid Back Type
You may come across such interviewers who seem to not have a care in the world. Don’t thank your lucky stars just yet; they’re not leaning back because they don’t care about the whole process. They might actually be trying to test you and catch you off guard! Granted, this may not be the case, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The best way to handle such employers is to play it cool. Just answer as normally as you can and DON’T GET ANGRY OR AGITATED. If they try to make fun of something, try not to laugh too enthusiastically for instance. Just treat it like any other interview and you’ll do fine.
Yes, every employer has to open his/her mouth during the interview, but you may come across some that are TOO fond of their company if you know what I mean. These are ones that can go on and on about their organization and its profits before they even start the interview.
Take advantage of that. Their short speech might help you polish up the company profile you memorized and update some things you missed out on. The best thing for you to do is to sit it out as patiently as you can and wait for it to end; chip in little nuggets of wisdom here and there, the aim is to make as big an impression as possible with as few words as you can. Oh and try not to get intimidated by it. They called you in because they think you have something that can benefit their company. Looking down on yourself at this point is kind of unnecessary don’t you think?
The Fast Talker
These types are more common than you think. You see, most employers have very little time on their hands, and this gives them a limited number of people to work with for the recruitment process. Not all of them have the resources to hire someone to do this job for them either, that’s why you might come across some that seem like they’re talking a mile a minute.
Again, try not to let that get under your skin. They might just be like that. Your job is to take them as they are and try to figure out what they’re actually saying. Plus there’s no shame in asking them to repeat themselves if you don’t manage to catch every one of those speedy comments. They won’t hate you for it for one thing and some might even appreciate your confidence in speaking up.
The Young Blood
If you’re one of those hopefuls who is, shall we say, a little further ahead in years and experience, then you may have the opportunity (good or bad) to be faced with an interviewer who’s younger than you. Try not to resent them for their youth or look down on them because of their ‘inexperience’. The green eyed monster look won’t score you any points with her/him and you’ll only end up making a fool of yourself eventually anyway.
You don’t have to handle these types as much as you have to handle yourself in other words. No one can squash their own ego completely, but you can stamp down on it for a little while can’t you? Give them the respect and cordiality you would show to any other employer and everything will go smoothly.
Chapter 6. Leave Your Questions For Last
“Do you have any questions for us?…No.” Sound familiar? This is a mistake most job hopefuls make when the interview is about to end. The interviewer asks that question for a reason! NEVER LEAVE THE ROOM WITHOUT ASKING SOME WELL PRIMED, INSIGHTFUL QUESTIONS. It’s their way of figuring out whether you actually thought out and did some research about the position and company before your interview.
Yes, you are allowed to ask questions of your own both during and after the interview. This will also help you lead the interview in the way you want it to go (as mentioned before) which can prove to be a good thing, especially if it hadn’t been going so well earlier on. That doesn’t mean that you can ask just anything that pops into your mind!
Ask your question in a casual manner to avoid looking desperate and NEVER argue with the interviewer. It’s been proven that interviewers appreciate the quality of the questions you ask more than the answers you provide. Following are some types of questions you should think about asking:
About The Company
Now, everyone will assume that you’ve done your research regarding their company’s profile before you came to the interview. This includes online forums, an official website (if they have one), business directories, company newsletters, LinkedIn etc. You may have even chatted with their employees to get a more personal perspective. In short, this is information you should’ve been able to research quickly without wasting their time asking about it.
What should you ask then? Simple. Those questions should be about information that’s not covered in the material you collected like:
Why is the position open?
Why did the previous person leave?
What are your plans regarding cutbacks and what effects will they have in the department?
How important is this position to the general operations of the organization?
How many people have left the position in the last 5 years?
What do I have to do to get promoted?
How many employees got promoted from the position in the last 5 years?
What are the most important qualities required to effectively man this position?
What are their expectations?
What’s the company’s opinion on work environment?
Will I receive any formal training?
Of course, these are not the only questions you may ask, but they’re a good point to start from. Asking well thought out questions can swing the entire interview your way even if it wasn’t going so good earlier on. It shows intelligence and initiative, believe me, no employer is ever averse to those qualities. Remember, employers are usually on the lookout for those individuals who actually know what they’re talking about. They also like those who show a can-do attitude regarding the position on offer.
Why should you ask questions? Asking the above mentioned questions will show them that you’re serious about the position and will likely work hard to make the company look good. Not only will they appreciate your efforts, but they might even think of promoting you faster than you think (IF you deliver on your potential of course).
About The Position
The last questions were aimed at the company only. Now you have to come to the job itself. These questions have to be focused mainly on the day to day activities that the job requires and what you might expect from them. Start off with something like these:
What’s the nature of the work I will be expected to do?
Can you tell me a bit about the type of clients I’ll be working with?
What’s my supervisor like? (How he/she handles projects).
Does the position require frequent changes/improvements? If so, then how?
Will there be any major challenges to worry about? How can I handle them?
Will I be expected to travel? If so, how often will I be expected to do so?
What can I do to improve my chances of being promoted?
When can I expect to hear from you?
I already have some ideas in mind? Would you like to hear them?
Most interviewers will answer yes to the final question, but ask it ONLY if you have a good plan of action already mapped out! This is where it pays to really do your research before the interview. A good way to do this is to keep in mind all the buzzwords he/she used when describing the company. Add your own 2 cents worth by suggesting ideas that can help them increase sales and productivity or improve punctuality for instance. Make sure to keep your strengths and weaknesses in mind when giving this sales pitch though. They will expect you to deliver on your ideas if they hire you.
Getting that dream job won’t do you much good if you hate the people you end up working with. Once you land that position, the people you work with, the way your work is evaluated and the way the management supports or trains its employees, will have a huge effect on your performance. Not only will your dream job not look so heavenly, but your anxiety and tension levels can shoot through the roof. Nip the problem in the bud by asking the following questions:
Can you tell me anything about my co-workers?
Can you tell me anything about the management and the people who work in it? What’s their performance been like?
Should I be on the lookout for any office politics? If yes, then what exactly would you say I could look out for?
Are there any special plans or arrangements for employees who are also students? How are they managed?
What’s your performance evaluation system like?
Will the company support me if I decide to get some training from outside?
Is there a support system for employees who want to further their education?
I cannot stress this enough but DON’T MAKE PROMISES YOU CAN’T KEEP and don’t let the adrenaline rush cloud your judgment. You may impress them enough to hire you, but what will you do if you fail to live up to those high expectations? Being fired is a whole lot worse than not being hired, let me assure you. Make your life easier by remaining as close to the truth as possible. You’ll make a better impression that way.
Salary And Benefits
Normally most people will tell you to avoid asking questions about salaries and benefits you might receive until after the interview. They’re right. Asking about medical insurance for instance before they hire you may make you out as a greedy person.
On the other hand the employers may bring up the issue themselves. Your job will be to ask questions IF they do so, but try not to be too eager if you know what I mean. Telling them right off the bat that you have a large family to support or a truck load of bills and student loans to pay off won’t help you get any sympathy votes either.
It will be a whole different ball game if you manage to get the job though. This is the time when you should bring up your expected salary. Word to the wise, try and talk in terms of range rather than a single salary figure if you can help it. This will allow both parties some room to maneuver and negotiate a sum that would be acceptable to both parties. Try researching the sum others had in that position and how you are qualified to get more for instance. There are many online resources you could use to get an idea of the average salaries for that position. Payscale.com and salary.com are useful in helping you have an idea of what salaries to expect.
Remember what was said about asking about the performance evaluation? That will come in pretty handy when salary raises are being considered. Keeping an eye on that point system will also help you hone your own skills according to the job, which can only spell good news for your future prospects.
You have to take a bit of a different stance for benefits though. Try not to ask about any during or after the interview. However, if you just can’t control your curiosity, then ask in a way that doesn’t make you out to be desperate. You’re better off knowing whether they offer them or not as compared to what they offer for instance. Very few companies don’t have a benefit plan for their employees anyway.
Chapter 7. Don’t Forget To Follow Up!
The interview is not over until THEY say it’s over. Even if you followed everything by the book, it won’t do you much good if you decide to wait for that call at home! There are some things you can do after you walk out of that interview room:
Record! Record! Record!
You still have work to do after you leave that room the most important being recording the fresh information so that you can review it later. This includes remembering and listing the name of the interviewer, the information you were able to gather and especially the experience you gained from the whole encounter. Plus head for that calendar the minute you get home! You DO NOT want to forget the date they told you they might call if you got the job.
Write a Thank You Letter
No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. This is exactly what you need to write as soon as you mark that follow up date on your calendar. Don’t turn your nose up at the idea just yet. Saying that you appreciated them for considering you for the position will give you instant brownie points and can even give them the extra motivation to hire you. Do this preferably not more than 24hrs after the interview has taken place, it might just sway things in your favor.
Why? You won’t believe how many people forget to follow through on this common business etiquette. Many miss out on the job of their dreams because of this minor mistake as well. Don’t be like them. Remind those employers why they called you for that interview with this courteous gesture. They’ll like you more for it.
Don’t Twiddle Your Thumbs At Home
Don’t waste your time waiting for that all important call when you can be doing something useful! They will call you when the time is right and fretting about it won’t do you much good. Keep dropping your CV in different organizations while you’re waiting since it may take a few weeks for them to contact you. Who knows? You might get a better offer if you do!
If you don’t get a call from them on the circled date on the other hand, THEN you can call and ask about it. Your call might remind them of your candidacy if they’ve not made a decision yet. It might even impress them regarding your dedication for the job.
See? There’s nothing to really worry about. All the fear and anxiety you have is only in your head and you alone can get it all out. Nothing and no one can stop you from getting the job of your dreams after all. The only one who can stop you is YOU. All it takes is a little bit of preparation to nail any job interview you’re called in for.
Being prepared for any difficult situation is better than choosing not to face it. Not only may you be losing out on the life you always dreamed of, but you might not be able to live with yourself later if you decide to skip out.
Be the lead actor in your own play by taking charge of your life and going to that job interview with your head held high. That confidence will be obvious to anyone you face, it will make the whole process a lot easier for you as well. Job interviews will be a piece of cake once you can overcome those inner demons and face the world with the confidence you know you have.
Think of it this way. A job interview gives you a great chance to brush up on your communication skills. The more interviews you decide to attend, your chances of landing that big one increases. So what are you waiting for? Pick yourself up, put on your best suit (the type mentioned above mind you) and grab that resume! There’s no one stopping you acing that job interview now!
About the Author
Nate has spent the last 12 years of his life coaching young men and women on how to make the best choices and be the best professionals in their fields. He speaks for free at career seminars around the country.
Follow me on twitter @sterlingwriting
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A free guide designed to get the best out of the job interview process. Get interview questions and step by step guidelines to secure your dream job. Get tips on how to find the right jobs and each step to get called to the interview. There's also a lot of information on getting the employer to hire you.