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7 Best Job Interview Tips

Job Interview

A job interview is stressful. The person who hasn’t made a lot of changes isn’t practiced at what is involved (nor should they want to be), and the person who has made a lot of changes doesn’t have any idea as to what’s involved either, or they wouldn’t be making so many changes!

Preparing for the interview de-stresses the situation considerably. Yet, 78% of all candidates – regardless of the level for which they are interviewing – wing it! And frequently cause themselves …

 

Job Interview Tip # 1

Handshake: Give the interviewers a firm handshake. This will show them that you are confident of yourself. Make sure your hands are free of sweat (usually caused by being nervous). Not everyone likes to shake hands (for various reasons), so always let the employer take the initiative.

In one interview we actually gave a small bow to the (female) interviewers instead of shaking their hands (and left them half flustered). This tactic might not work all the time and needs to be done with humour. It is better to stick with the handshake unless you are confident that the bowing will go down well.

Job Interview Tip # 2

Negativity: Whatever you do, never say anything negative about yourself. You are trying to impress the employer so they give you the job, so don’t give them an excuse to pass you over by talking about your flaws and failures.

At one interview we attended, there was a smartly dressed guy who had managerial level experience. He made two vital mistakes. When he answered questions, he hardly looked at the interviewers and directed most of his answers to thin air. Secondly, he talked about his past failures. These two simple practices got him eliminated.

Of course, everyone has failed in the past. But there is no need to mention it. Look at it this way. Let’s say you are running a catering business. You tell a potential client (who needs catering for his wedding) that there was a time when you accidently got orders mixed up. What will the potential client think of you?

Job Interview Tip # 3

Company: Do your background research on the company, its industry and culture. It will only take about 10-20 minutes of your time. At the interview stage you will be given the opportunity to ask questions. You need to demonstrate that you have knowledge about the company by asking smart questions.

Ask questions about the industry the company is in. For example, if the company is in the agriculture industry, maybe there are new laws and regulations coming into force that could impact the company.

A question could be: ‘I was reading up on the new regulations (state them) which are due to come into force. How will these affect the company?’

The question shows that you are intelligent, know current events and care about your future with the company (you have long term goals to be with the company). Interviewers will admire you for your sharp insight.

You can then ask basic questions about company culture and job (shift patterns, training etc). You need to keep questions relevant to the position, and leave questions about pay, holiday and bonuses until the end.

Job Interview Tip # 4

Professionalism: You need to remain professional at all times. This applies to dress code and the way you conduct yourself. Do not use slang terms or language that could easily be seen as inappropriate. For example, referring to an interviewer as ‘boss’, ‘gaffa’, ‘darling’ etc is not acceptable. In a professional setting these terms are not tolerated. You need to be mature at all times.

Job Interview Tip # 5

Interviewer Check: Most of the time you don’t know who will interview you. But in some cases a name(s) is mentioned. If you know who the interviewer(s) is, it is a good idea to go online and do a quick check on them.

LinkedIn would be a good place to start. Check out the interviewer(s) profile, see what interests they have, and then try to relate to them in the interview.

For example, maybe you both share a passion about cars? Bring it up in your interview (as an interest). People are attracted to those who share similar interests. This practice will go in your favour.

Job Interview Tip # 6

Who you Know: Years ago, if you had a family or friend working for a particular company, they could get you inside easily by recommending you. In this day and age it is harder as many companies have stricter recruitment policies. But the practice is still common. If you know people on the ‘inside’ tell them to put in a good word for you. We have seen people get recruited because of this. The company would be looking to fill positions quickly and if a loyal employee knows someone who can do the job, the recruiters are prone to listen. So make use of this tactic because it still works. In companies where there are stricter policies, it will not get you an instant job. But the recruiters will look out for your application. They will become biased towards you.

Conclusion

Those six tips will put you ahead of your competitors. So start applying them in your job hunting and don’t let that perfect opportunity pass! Want extra techniques, strategies, tips and secrets on how to get job interviews and how to
land your dream job? Job Interview Tips is a sneak preview of ‘Interview Secrets’; the complete solution to getting job interviews and landing your dream job. ‘Interview Secrets’ will be released soon so watch out for our email update!

 

Like so much of the interview, seemingly innocent questions can trip you up. You think you are answering them in a way that puts you in the best light, but you’d be surprised at how many people completely miss the boat. Merely to hope an interview has a positive result is not enough. That’s basically forfeiting your ability to drive up the percentage of a positive outcome.

For instance, in response to the question, “Why do you want to work here?” some people will say things such as:

“I’ve worked in this industry for 15 years and been very successful. I feel I can make a difference in your organization. I have a proven track record of leadership. I’ve read in the paper that your company is having some problems, and with my experience as a Director of XXXXX, I can help straighten those out.”

That answer may sound good and appear to suffice, but on a scale of 1 – 10, it ranks about a 4!

Why? The answer shows no research, no thought, no consideration. It sounds stock and could suffice for any number of companies. Overall, unimpressive.

In my experience as a recruiter, I’ve found that while mid level management tends to UNDERanswer the question, upper level management will often OVERanswer the question. One group doesn’t provide enough information because of a limited lack of experience. The other group has been around, worked their way up the ladder in more than one company, and in their attempt to sound thoughtful, intelligent, and wise, end up saying very little at all.

Let’s look closer.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK HERE?

Here’s where you get to show off your research. Tell the interviewer what you’ve learned about the company, and why it’s appealing to you. SPECIFICS are the key here.

Relate those specific examples from your experience to what you’ve learned about the company, their focus, and their market. Look to your personality and what motivates you and how that relates to any details you learned from the ad, your recruiter, your friend who referred you, or from where you learned of this opportunity.

For instance, perhaps their ad stated that they were looking to establish a marketing department from ground up. If you thrive on growth, challenges, making things happen – there’s your answer – along with examples of how you have grown, established, or done market research in a parallel situation.

And you might ask, “What if it’s not a high profile company? What if it’s on the small side and local?” Right. Not every company is the size of General Electric or even a regional public powerhouse that you can look up in Dun & Bradstreet.

But most librarians are more than willing to help you find any information that might be present in any of their research books. Local newspapers may have done stories on the company, and the library would have those too. And these days, most companies have a website.

Share what you can do and why you feel you can make a contribution and benefit the company. This question is about how YOU can benefit the company, not how the company can benefit YOU.

TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF

Some interviews are lost right at this point. This is not an invitation to go on ad nauseum about everything that has happened to you since you were five years old or since your first job out of college. Nor is it the time to shrug your shoulders and give an unplanned, one-sentence answer.

Some people, especially those who haven’t prepared and have a tendency to talk when they get nervous, find themselves rambling. Put together a nice little 2 – 3 minute verbal bio about your career, your qualifications, and why you are interested. Know what you’re going to say in advance.

A FEW POINTS TO REMEMBER

In recruiting we used to say, “‘A’ candidates for ‘A’ companies, ‘B’ candidates for ‘B’ companies and ‘C’ candidates for ‘C’ companies,” and a ‘B’ candidate is not only some one who’s talents and track record is only so-so, it’s also an ‘A’ candidate whose poor interviewing skills MAKE him a ‘B.’

Knowing who you are, what you want, what you have to offer and what you’ve accomplished – and having it all on the tip of your tongue – can make or break you for a job offer – not just for your perfect job, but sometimes for even finding ANY job.

Being able to sell yourself, your skills, how you can benefit a potential company and then being able to close the deal necessitates taking the time to research and learn the company. It means knowing yourself well enough that you can apply aspects of your capabilities to the individual facts and details of that INDIVIDUAL company – and that you can do it smoothly without groping for words or just winging it.

And last, but not least, the words of Peter Handal of Dale Carnegie Training, echo the importance of interview preparation, including what strikes most people as silly – role playing. But as he said, “you only have one chance to make a really good impression,” and if you don’t take it seriously enough to study and thoroughly prepare, someone else will, and that’s the person who will get the job!

Do your homework before EVERY interview! There’s no chance to make a second good impression!

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