Honing interviewing skills

Posted by Joe on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Under: #JobSeeker Series

Note: This post is the second in a series that I am publishing to help those who are seeking their dream job. There are several tips that I feel incrementally increase your chance of being hired. These tips require hard work to implement, but the "sweat equity" will pay dividends when you land the job you have been coveting. Getting a call for your first interview is half the battle in the job hunting process, but that phone call is only the beginning of a new phase of the search. Interviewing for a job entails a lot of work: research, careful consideration, practice, and preparation, because you've put in the hours and effort to reach that first interview, you don't want to blow your chances!

Below are some practice tips and activities that will help you sharpen your own skills and nail that pre-screening telephone call with a recruiter, or (if you're going for the whole enchilada,) the one-on-one, suit-and-tie, in-person interview.

"The only purpose of your resume and of interviewing is to be memorable, so go in and tell your story, and connect yourself to the job and their company." - Bernice Kao

Preparing Before The Interview

  1. Do your homework and research the organization to better understand their wants and needs and their industry. Investigate and identify the most commonly sought-after industry traits (analytical skills, communication skills, business knowledge and problem solving.) Don't just stop at surface information - also use resources like trade publications and Glass Door to get the inside scoop.

  1. Prepare a list of likely questions that most recruiters are likely to ask. To practice competency-based interview questions, use the STAR method. Other common questions about your background are not  an invitation to recite your entire life story or your resume; instead, use the Present-Past-Future Formula.

  1. Try a mock interview, or an informational interview. Videotape a 30-minute interview with someone you know or trust to give you a constructive review of your performance. Lots of recruiters enjoy informational interviews with young professionals who are interested in learning more about working in a specific industry or at a specific company. Both of these types of interviews aren't an excuse to slack because "it's practice." Make sure you're just as prepared as you would be for the real thing.

  1. Stay confident - try one of these strategies to help you feel calm, cool, and collected, or at least make you appear that way.

The Interview

  1. Dress in appropriate attire. When in doubt, overdress, never dress down!

  2. Greet the interviewer with an enthusiastic handshake and smile.

  3. Listen to the questions asked. Make sure you know what the interviewer wants you to know, and ask for clarification if the question does not make sense to you.

  4. Keep your answers concise and to the point, preferably 2-3 minutes long, each.

You are there to ask questions, too. Use this as an opportunity to determine the organization is a good fit for you. Here are some examples of the right questions to ask an employer during your interview. Good luck and happy interviewing!


In : #JobSeeker Series 

Tags: "jobseeker series"  "interview skills"  "interview preparation"  #jobseeker 
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