Later this morning, I am going to a job interview.
Even though I have been a working American for 33 years, I still have that feeling of nervousness in the pit of my stomach, as when you top a hill going 5 miles over the speed limit, only to see a policeman sitting is his car by the side of the road, as you pass on by.
So, how am I going to handle the interview today?
With great aplomb and savoir-faire, I hope. (After all, the bills don’t pay themselves.)
All kidding aside, here are some tips which I have gathered together in preparation for my job interview.
I believe that one of the most important things is to remember what you put on your cover letter. That way there is no disconnect between what is written about you on paper and what comes out of your mouth during the interview. You have to be your “Brand”. You have to be what you advertised yourself as being.
When you get there, be “on”. The receptionist is the company’s “gatekeeper”. Just as you have to get past her to sell a product to her boss, so do you have to “self yourself” to her, because often “the receptionist test” is a part of the interview, as your interviewer will ask her about the impression you gave while you were waiting to be interviewed.
While they do not have the final say, their opinion about you will definitely be noted.
Your best bet is to be “on”. In other words, be friendly and personable to each person you meet from the moment you open the building’s door, that day and always. Make believe that you are Elvis or Ann Margaret in their prime, and exude that winning self-confidence that will win the “office gatekeeper” over to your side.
Every one knows that interviewers like to ask the tough questions, those that are designed to stretch us, to make us think, and then provide them with the information they need to make a final decision.
For every decision of your professional career that you discuss with your interviewer, don’t just highlight what you did, use the opportunity to showcase why you did it, and the skills you used to win the potential client over..
The sad fact is, most interviewers remember more of what they have said during an interview than what the applicant has said.
In order to make a lasting impression, setting yourself apart from others, you should dazzle
the interviewer with your own knowledge of the company and its industry. If order to do that, you will need to ask concise, focused questions that allow you to demonstrate that you’ve done
significant research about the industry, the company itself-including its products, its
market and its competitors. Finally and most importantly, you need to demonstrate that, as a result of
your past experience, you can help move the company forward.
In a paper titled, How to Market Yourself effectively, found at foothill.edu, the author suggests that
The goal of the interview is to be able to answer YES to the following questions:
1. Does the interviewer know I am interested in his/her position and company?
2. Am I capable of handling this position? Explain in terms of your experience, skills, education, talents, attitudes, and core values.
3. Will I stay for a reasonable length of time, and will my values and commitment align with the company’s expectations?
Don’t leave the interview until you:
1.Make it clear to the interviewer that you are interested, capable, and committed.
2. Ask the interviewer if s/he has any further questions about your background.
3. Express an interest in the position! This is very important. The last impression you make is the one the interviewer remembers best. If you want the position, say so! This could be the one fact that sets you apart from other candidates with qualifications equal to yours.
4. Thank the interviewer for his/her time.
I realize that most of these suggestions are common sense. However, looking at them in print before you go in to your interview, may provide that little extra bit of reassurance you need to land the job which you are interviewing for.