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Acing Your Job Interview

Updated on June 22, 2011

Getting the Job You Want

I've been on both sides of the interview table. I've seen interviews go great and some go horribly wrong. I've been impressed by candidates immediately and couldn't wait to hire. Others I couldn't wait to finish interivewing. What made the difference? While job specifics change with the companies, certain qualities stay the same.

Tips to a Winning Job Interview

1. Have the right amount of confidence.

There is a fine line between cocky and confident, between humility and insecurity. Know the difference. Interviewers appreciate someone who is confident in their abilities but someone who acts better than everyone else will lose points. The same is true of being insecure. While you don't want to come off as arrogant, appearing to doubt yourself will make the interviewer doubt you, too.

2. Be friendly but professional.

This is another line that can be hard to find. You want to appear friendly, especially if the position you're applying for deals with the public. However, you don't want to act as if you are having a relaxed conversation with a friend. I've had people sit and chat about their hobbies and family in way too much detail. When asked to tell about yourself, limit it to the basics, usually three or four sentences are enough. I've also had people tell me sob stories about their last job and personal problems they were having. One person spent ten minutes telling me about his divorce. Needless to say, he didn't get the job. Some people forget that they are talking to a possible boss and get too relaxed, especially if the boss happens to be very friendly.

3. Know your answers ahead of time.

But don't sound rehearsed. Think about what you will say to typical questions and how those answers might be perceived by the interviewer. Experts advise you to have mock interviews with your friends. But take this a step further and think about your answers in relation to the company you want to work for. How will describing yourself as laid-back differ for a manager of a quiet law office as opposed to a manager in a busy department store? Think about what they are looking for as well as what you have to offer.

4. Sell yourself but not too much.

You want to convince the employer that you are the right person for the job, but you don't want to try too hard or they won't be sure if you are sincere in your answers. Always be honest but filter your answers.

5. Interview the company.

In a tactful way, of course. Find out the things you need to know when it's your turn to ask questions. Don't forget that you have the power to accept or turn down an offer if given one. Just having that attitude can make you less nervous. They have to win you over as well as you winning them over. This company should meet your short-term goals at least and possibly be a long-term career for you.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression is especially true in a job interview. A little planning can make you more comfortable and give you the chance to stand out in the crowd. Good luck on all your interviews!


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    • Hypnotherapy-Guru profile image

      Hypnotherapy-Guru 6 years ago from Idaho

      Great tips!