Like most people, when I had my first job interview I found it really stressful, nerve racking and to be fair not an enjoyable experience. But with practice and some simple rules to follow you will be surprised how quickly you can change and manage a job interview which puts you in control of the situation. There are 3 key areas which you need to make preparation on and you need to accept, first of all, that getting the job you want is going to require oral skills, beginning with telephone conversations.
However, you will also be having face-to-face conversations with a wide range of personnel in the company not to exclude the receptionists and being introduced to employees. Facing up to the need to do this part of the job-seeking process well is the very first step to success.
The most important of all of these oral challenges is the interview, of course. Keep in mind that this is a sales presentation; however, keep the tone down, and let the interviewer set the pace. Following are some tips that may help:
The interviewer is going to be well-prepared for this interview. It’s his/her job. So it’s only wise that you do the same. Be prepared. Take the necessary time for this preparation. Learn all you can about the hiring company and as much about the interviewer himself/herself as you can. Prepare the questions you want to ask and practice answering the questions he/she is likely to ask. Dress appropriately. Consider the following:
– Get a good night’s rest.
– Arrive a few minutes early.
– Be calm.
– Let the receptionist know you’re there.
– Demonstrate confidence when you meet the interviewer.
– Don’t sit until invited to do so.
– Don’t fidget. Sit quietly.
– Make eye contact. Don’t be shifty-eyed.
– Control facial expression.
– Have a pen and notebook in your hands. Don’t rifle through pockets or briefcase.
– Let the interviewer lead.
– No jokes, no profanity.
– Even if the interviewer offends, deal with it without becoming angry.
– Never look at your watch.
– As you leave, express appreciation for the interview.
– After the meeting, record notes and analyze your performance.
You might as well face it. Sometimes people are hired for jobs simply because they come across well, not because they are better candidates than other interviewees. So go on the offensive. Work on your style.
– Ask friends or family members to help you analyze your style.
– Ask them how you come across. Friendly, anxious, passive, etc.
– Work on your style in front of a mirror until you have more confidence that you can make a good impression.
You are applying for this job because you feel that you are a good candidate. So develop your case. Make sure you feel confident about what you bring to the job and be sure that you are prepared to defend your qualifications.
– Just before the interview-review your analysis of the firm and your self analysis and resume.
– Anticipate the kinds of questions interviewers might ask. Practice responding to them.
– Answer and ask questions clearly and concisely, but avoid being curt.
– Always be truthful. If you are dealing with a negative in your past, sandwich it in positive terms, but avoid being defensive.
– Don’t criticize current or former employers.
– Listen. Really listen. Don’t just wait until you get your chance to talk.
– Feature your strengths. Downplay your weaknesses.
– Make sure you don’t use slang and that your use of the language is proper. No grammatical gaffés.
– Finish strong. If possible, restate the reasons you should be hired.