How to Outperform on Your Job Interview
Knowing that your family has invested all their money on a bet stating that you would get first place in a national marathon that you have never trained for, would you proceed or would you stop your family from making their biggest mistake of their lives? Hopefully you are on the same sidetrack as us and decided to do everything you can to stop your family from making such an unwise decision. How can you win the race when you have never practiced for it? Furthermore, how can you win the race if you understand close to nothing about the race? When you apply for your ideal job you have to keep this simple, yet vivid and real analogy in mind. You will have a better chance to win this job race if you know the skills necessary to outperform the runner ups.
One thing to keep in mind is that the interview is arranged after the employer has already reviewed your resume. The purpose of the interview is to provide both the employer and interviewee a trade of information to see if the company or candidate will be a good fit. In this opportunity, you can demonstrate you have the skills and desire to do the job well. Leaving a good impression is a big plus! Below is how you can accomplish such.
Typically there are four types of interview: traditional, screening, behavioral, and group. In this text we are going to discuss the first one. In a traditional interview, the interviewer will ask a series of questions and the interviewee will answer them concisely and precisely, always giving examples and/or results when appropriate.
Do the following before the interview:
Look up and study some parts of the industry, company and position
Be able to elaborate on why you want the job
Make sure you prepare and rehearse a response to common interview questions
Have examples ready to show experience
Always have questions to ask
Print extra resumes
Confirm address and travel directions (leave time to spare) and name of contact
The night before, have your clothes ready and have a good night’s sleep
To briefly touch on the last bullet point, make sure you dress for success. Remember, you are a walking letter and people will read you and the way you dress. First impressions play a huge role in a job interview. The rule of thumb is whenever in doubt, dress up. Men, suit or slacks kind of wear. Women, suit or slacks/skirt (skirts should be at least knee length). Note that the company and position you are applying for play a role on your type of “Dress for Success.” Keep in mind that there are organizations that are out there to assist you with interview clothings (Dress for Success, Career Gear, or Bottomless Closet).
Finally, here is your spotlight and opportunity to shine. During the interview:
It all starts with First Impressions
Be on time (10-15 minutes to spare waiting in the lobby)
Greet everyone with a positive attitude
Make eye contact
Shake hands firmly
Be precise and answer the questions asked (avoid negativity at all times. Focus on the overcoming obstacles)
Listen carefully (Don’t worry about asking the next question. It will come to you)
Engage the interviewer
Smile and enjoy the process
One additional point to consider here is that they called you in for a reason. They liked your resume and wanted to see and hear from the real you. Be confident in yourself. It’s OK and natural to be nervous, but don’t allow these nerves to throw away an unique and wanted opportunity.
When asking questions, we strongly advise you not to ask about the money/salary until the employer extends you the job offer. You will have a ball park for how much the job will pay you. When the offer is on the table, then you can attempt to negotiate salary, benefits, health, dental and visual, retirement plans, etc.
After the interview is over, follow up with a Thank You note. As cheesy as it may sound, it works! You are showing appreciation for their interest and time on you. You never know, if you weren’t chosen for the selected job, they might even refer you to another position within the company or even to other companies. Trust us, it happens!
If carefully considered and applied the above suggestions, you are off to a great job interview!
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