Are you ready to interview?

As school is nearing the end for me (light at the end of the tunnel) I am facing the daunting task of interviewing for a “real” job. I’m scared. I have seen the unemployment statistics, heard the interview horror stories, heard my friends who have hired people laughing about mistakes the interviewees made, and know that when it comes time for me to interview I need to be prepared. I need to be more than prepared, I need to rock it outta the house and back– Marie Raperto, a corporate headhunter, has great tips on what you should think about for interviewing and then I added a few comments at the end of each of her suggestions:

  • Respond to questions briskly and concisely. (Nothing is more annoying than someone who sits there saying “uhm…”)
  • Be certain you understand the question. Don’t be afraid to ask for  clarification. (Better to ask and understand than miss the question entirely.)
  • Respond to the question asked. Don’t volunteer information. (Do not ramble on! Remember the 7 second rule-a lot of employers will sit quietly after you finish answering the question just to see if you will cave under the pressure of silence and start rambling on. Don’t do it.)
  • Watch for opportunities to ask questions, especially those that show you have done some homework on the company. (Employers like to see that you have taken the initiative and time to learn about their company-it shows dedication.)
  • Be sensitive to the interviewer. Take stock of their style and try to respond to questions naturally. (Some interviews will be formal, some not so much-you can miss out on a great opportunity by being inflexible with your style of communication.)
  • Strive to develop a natural dialogue and rapport with our interviewer. But, remember, they are in control. (Be calm. Be polite. Compliment something about them or the company-this helps ease tension and hopefully gets them talking!)
  • Avoid the use of negative terms in your answers. Instead of problems, talk about challenges or opportunities. (Never use negative comments, not only is it a complete turn-off to most employers, it also shows that you may not be a team player or difficult to work with.)
  • Get as many relevant details about the position. This way, you can determine if it is a position you truly want. ( Don’t waste your time or theirs if it is not something you are truly interested in.)
  • Prepare, but don’t over-do it. Your answers should come naturally, not sound like a script. (Practice interviewing techniques with a friend.)
  • Thank the interviewer the end of an interview. (Don’t forget to send a handwritten/email thank you note. It shows that you are classy and polite and that you have social skills-like manners! I always write thank you’s and I’ve only ever heard how much they were appreciated-so take a minute and write one.)
Remember to be calm, try your best, and know that you win some and lose some, and that every interview can have a kernel of education you can analyze afterwards. But, don’t beat your self up for mistakes, just try not to make them again. One last thing…..Good Luck:)

Do you have any suggestions for interviewing techniques? Tried and true practices that have always landed you a position? Have a website or article to share? I welcome your comments, questions, or suggestions.
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