In a tight job market, the ability to interview well is crucial to a successful job search. Companies with job openings pay close attention to the way candidates prepare and present themselves, skills that usually translate into positive relationships with co-workers, supervisors and clients. There are some simple steps every job candidate can take to prepare for the one-on-one interview.
Prepare for the interview by doing some basic research on the company. The interviewer will be asking you questions to find out what you know about the company, and to learn your opinion of their operation. As often as possible, show that you are curious and knowledgeable about the company during the interview, but don't give a showy impression about what you know.
Dress neatly and prepare a portfolio of documents, including your resume, work samples, references, transcripts, and copies of identification, Social Security card, etc., you may need to furnish before or after the interview. Also, bring a pen to fill out any forms and take notes.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview. Plan to arrive a few minutes early so you can get through any necessary paperwork without keeping the interviewer waiting. If the location is unfamiliar, drive there a day before so you know exactly how to get there without any preventable delays.
Keep a calm but attentive demeanor during the interview. Pay close attention to the questions and make sure you understand them before fully answering. Speak in a clear and steady voice. Keep eye contact with the interviewer.
Show a good understanding of what the job entails and confidence in your ability to carry out the job. Give examples of your past accomplishments and your ability to follow direction, work with colleagues and attend to clients and customers in a professional manner.
Stay positive in your comments on past employers, and diplomatic in your reasons for leaving your last job, even if the separation was less than amicable. Avoid laying blame or speaking in an accusatory manner. The interviewer wants to see positive reasons to hire you.
Keep your own questions to a minimum. Don't ask for salary or benefit information unless the interviewer brings up the subject.
Use proper English, speak in complete sentences and don't use jargon or slang while you're speaking. If a question isn't clear, ask politely for a clarification. If you're not sure of an answer to a question of fact, admit it and don't make one up or try to guess the answer.
At the conclusion of the interview, shake hands and express your appreciation for the interviewer's time and the company's interest. Don't make any special pleadings. It will put the interviewer uncomfortably on the spot.
After the interview, contact the interviewer by mail or email and express your thanks for her time and interest. Repeat your desire to fill the position and make a contribution to the company.
- Photo Credit hands of the businessman image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com
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