Friday, March 11, 2011

10 Tips to Having an Amazing Job Interview

In this economy it is more important than ever to make sure you go to every job interview on your "A" game.  Getting the interview is the hard part, you don't want to mess it up after finally getting it, you don't know when the next opportunity will come up.  By following these 10 tips can drastically improve your chances of landing your dream job!

Tip #1:  Dress to impress.  A Harvard Business School study found that the decision to NOT hire someone happens within the first few seconds of an interview. So make sure you don't mess up something as simple as dressing the part.  Make sure you are dress accordingly for the workplace where you are interviewing, if it's a corporate position,
Men: you will want to dress in a conservative dark suit.  White dress shirt.  Dark red or blue tie.  no ties with cartoons or big designs, sorry there's probably never going to be a good occasion to whip that out.  Get a nice haircut, shave or if you have to keep your beard make sure its trimmed.  Wear a good deodorant.  Skip the cologne, you never know what smell the interviewer might find as offensive.  Make sure you cut your nails and that they are clean.
Women: you will want to wear a dark suit or skirt suit, with stockings and dark colored low-heeled shoes.
No crazy nail polish or hairdos.  No strong perfumes.
Overall, make sure you look good because it will show the interviewer that you care and that you're taking the interview seriously.

Tip #2:  Be relaxed.   Having a relaxed demeanor will show that you're confident in your abilities will make you look like a better candidate.  Even if you are unbelievably nervous or stressed, you don't want it to show.  Do not slouch or lean on the seat, be over eager, nervous, or act desperate all these things will be an instant bad sign.  You want them to want you.

Tip #3: Be confident.  Confidence in key in everything.  It is equally important in job interviews.  You want it to show that you are the right one for this job and make the company want to hire you.  Be confident with your answers, how you present yourself, the handshake, and eye contact.  Make sure you have a good energy throughout the interview and it will rub off on the interviewer.

Tip #4:  Be interested.  You have to show that you want the position and that it's not just another random company that you happened to spam your resume to.  Know why you would be a good fit in this position and company and have good questions ready to ask them about the company and job.  If the interviewer asks you "why do you want to work here?" and that stumps you then the interview might as well end right there.  If they ask you if you have any questions for them and you answer no, they may take it as a sign of disinterest.

Tip #5:  Be Honest.  Don't ever lie.  If you get caught in a lie then you're instantly labeled as dishonest and untrustworthy.  If you get the job and later they find out something on your resume was made up it could be terms for you being fired.  Honesty is a good value and most companies will value it.  Even if you think you can get away with it or that you're a good lier, you may be giving off unconscious body signs saying otherwise.

Tip #6: Never be negative.  If you get asked about a weakness, a former employer, or past job and even if the interview explicitly asks what you didn't like about one of them you need to find a way to put a positive spin on it.  Talk about how you grew from the experience or learned something.

Tip #7:  Do you're research.  With all the tools available on the internet.  You are a google search away from learning as much as you need to know for the interview.  By researching the company and the people you will interview with beforehand you will have questions prepared and know facts which you can use to impress the interviewer or at least show that you are interested.  If you can find out some facts about the people you are interviewing through social networks you might find some common interest which is always good as an ice breaker but no need to go overboard here we don't want to encourage being a stalker.

Tip #8.  Prepare for tough questions.  You don't want to have the awkward silence because a question has you stomped.  There's tons of resources to find difficult interview questions online.  If you're rusty at interviewing or would just like to make sure you got all your grounds covered search for the questions and practice by yourself in a mirror or with a friend.

Tip #9.  Master the elevator pitch.  For those who don't know what an elevator pitch is basically a short summary about yourself and why your awesome that can be given in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.  You want to always have it ready because it the best way to sell yourself and also almost always the interviewer will ask you to "tell me a little about yourself."  This is the perfect time to use your elevator pitch.  Don't ramble and dive into your life story about how you have 12 brothers and sisters and you live in a pretty house with a white fence.  The interviewer is interested in what are you strengths and what will make you an asset to them. Remember to keep it sweet and concise.

Tip #10.  Remember your please and thank you.  Make sure to do all the small things that count like arrive on time.  Usually you want to show up 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview time.  Make sure your cellphone is turned off, if some how you forgot and it rings during the interview please don't answer it.  Apologize for having it ring and silence it.  After the interview if over thank the interviewer for their time and leave with a smile.  Get the business card of everyone who you interviewed with so that it will help you remember their names and allow you to send them a thank you note after.  These little things may not seem all that important but they add up and could be the key to you getting hired.

Follow these tips if you don't already know them and you will have a better interview I promise.

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