| Interview Skills
- - - Prepare For Your Interview
. . . . . . . . Research the Job
- - - Be Mindful of the Physical Appearance You Project
- - - Present a Positive Attitude
- - - Show Enthusiasm
- - - Get the Interviewer to Like You
- - - Communicate Well
A job interview is a conversation conducted by an employer to gain information from a potential employee. The interviewer(s) ask for information, evaluate the significant facts, and decide if you meet the selection criteria which they have defined. It is practical to remember that you also obtain and weigh information such as management's work expectations, job interrelationships and whether or not your capabilities fit with the job.
Because an interview is so significant for those involved, it requires sincerity, honesty, and thoughtful effort on the part of each participant. Thus, it is important for you to be yourself -- your best self.
Prepare For Your Interview - Write down the exact time and location of the interview, and keep this information with you. Do not rely on memore; it may fail you. Research the job and learn as much about it as you can. If it is an advertised job, read the whole advertisement carefully. Identify the way your skills, experience and training relate to the job.
Be Mindful of the Physical Appearance You Project - When you show up for an interview one of two things is assumed, either this is your best appearance or you did not care enough about the job to put forward your best at the interview! The employer will relate how you look to how you work. Neatness and cleanliness, of both body and clothing, are very important. Remember that business is conservative, so choose grooming, clothing and accessory styles with that in mind. As a rough guideline, choose to dress for the interview as the person supervising the position you are applying for would dress on the job. Make sure that any scents (perfume, after shave, etc) you wear are not overpowering; check this with someone you trust to tell you the truth! Interviewers are likely, just like the rest of us, to 'Judge a book by it's cover.'
Present a Positive Attitude - Self-doubts and fear of failure can undermine a job interview. Put yourself in the employer's place. Would you hire someone exhibiting such traits? What you say and how you act in the first 10 seconds of the interview may determine whether you are hired. Be confident, attentive and pleasant. Be prepared to discuss yourself in a positive way. Also, be prepared to give answers that are more than just one word yet do not go into unrelated detail.
Show Enthusiasm - Nothing is ever accomplished without a spirit of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm adds luster to any personality and is a vital ingredient to being successful in your job search, just as it is in any other endeavor in life. Part of showing you are enthused about the job you are applying for is doing some research about the company and the job. Do you know what the company does? Do you know some of the skills and experience the job will require? Do you know what education and/or certification it requires? Are you aware of the difficulties the job might present and are you prepared to deal with them?
Get the Interviewer to Like You - You can do so by making him feel important by what you say and how you act. Perhaps the most important way to do this is to carefully listen to what he is saying. If you do not understand what information he wants from a particular question, ask for more clarification. Also, try to forget your nervousness by just having a conversation with him. That way you will be able to relax and be more yourself. Show interest in him, the company, and the job.
Communicate Well - Use the interviewers name; it is a good way to get and keep his attention. Express a complete thought in each sentence, yet avoid word 'clutter'. Speak clearly and loudly enough to be easily heard and at a speed neither too fast nor too slow. Pronounce words fully and correctly. Vary the inflection of your voice and keep it relaxed and friendly; it is a good idea to listen to people who speak well on radio or TV and copy the way they speak. Avoid all criticism, sarcasm, and negativity. Stay on subject with your answers and keep your comments organized and in the proper order. Be prepared to do the majority of the talking without preventing the interviewer from expressing what he needs to. Maintain eye contact and use appropriate facial expression (watch out for inappropriate nervous smiling). Be prepared to engage in some small talk, particularly at either the beginning or the end of the interview. Being up on current events in your community makes it much easier to feel comfortable and relaxed during small talk. Do not be afraid to ask questions!
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