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Top 7 Strategies to Getting That Job Offer - From Applying to the Interview Questions

Updated on February 22, 2016
Catherine Stolfi profile image

Catherine is an independent research consultant at NASA Langley with degrees in English, Biology, and Environmental Science (M.S.).

For every job I’ve been able to land an interview for, I’ve been at least offered the position applied for. This is due to a few different devices and strategies that I use every time I’m applying. Job interviews I’ve aced range from retail to food service to a job in a pharmaceutical company.

The Cover Letter

The job interview has to start with applying: which begins the strategy to landing that interview. When applying for a job, whether it’s on craigslist, or on the companies website, you have to have great Cover Letter. Tailor it specifically for the job your applying for, even adding some skills that might be listed on the job position listing.


Word Resume to Tailer to the Job

This should also be the strategy you follow for your resume. Always have a resume tailored specifically for that position for which you are applying. A new system being utilized, especially by larger companies, is a resume scanning program that looks for keywords that must be listed on the resume to even be looked at. This is a great reason to incorporate wording as listed on the job website.

Title the Document Professionally

Something people don’t normally think about is the title of the .doc or PDF they are sending out. Remember, the job HR or interviewer will be opening this so try to have a professional title for your resume file. This should be your last name with resume or the actual job title instead of random numbers and letters or “that_job_resume69.”

Seem Like a Real Person in the Interview

When it comes to the job interview, many people forget that the interviewer already has your resume and has requested to meet you because they like what they already see. There’s no need to continue to sell on what is already listed in your work experience or skills section of your resume. What your selling in an interview is your people skills; they want to ensure that your easy to get along with, well spoken and is able to express yourself well. If you're comfortable with it, saying a joke or discussing a topical news story to start off the conversation, will show you are a real person and can get along with anyone on a personal level. This is why nerves will get you nowhere and even assist in your bombing the interview. It’s all about being cool, calm and collected and a big part of that is being confident and prepared. Do be prepared for tough questions associated to your education or past work experience. This can easily be tackled with some preparation, which I will go into detail in the rest of this article.

Interview Question: How are you doing today?

You probably wouldn't think of this as an "interview question" but it certainly is. Use this question to make your amazing first impression. Keep it short, light, humorous and ask how they are doing as well.

You will arrive at the company’s building (early of course) find your way to the correct department and are eventually directed to the place where your interview will begin. As soon as you shake hands with that interviewer, it’s on. Remember, he wants to know you’re relatable. When he asks, “How are you doing today?,” start a casual conversation on the spot; this lets him know your not sweating from the very beginning. This can be as light as a story about your drive in, a comment on the patience of the person that showed you there or maybe how your dog woke you up earlier than expected that morning. Say something positive that makes you smile; it will be contagious. You’ll already have the person giving you an interview smiling before you’ve even begun answering any tough questions. You’re off to a perfect start.

Interview Question: Tell me about a suggestion that you’ve made that’s been implemented and how successful it was

Then get ready for the tough questions. Be familiar with your past job experience. This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many, “umms” come out when asked about a job you had 5 years ago. You may have had multiple jobs over time but perhaps only highlighted the ones that apply especially to that job position; study them and your roles. You took the time to compose your job descriptions in just the right way on your resume, be sure you can shoot off your job responsibilities from all.

Many of the same questions are asked in job interviews, it’s a good idea to compose some answers to typical questions beforehand. For example, it’s popular for an interviewer to say, Tell me about a suggestion that you’ve made that’s been implemented and how successful it was. If you’re not prepared, this could be a question sure to leave you stumped. Think of all of your positions and jot down an idea from each the night before. Don’t be afraid to discuss with them how your suggestion may have not worked when implemented; it at least shows that you gave initiative and that your not afraid to brain storm ideas.

Interview Question: Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make. Do you regret it?

Another popular one is, Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make. Do you regret it? A great answer to this question could be leaving a p/t job you had while in school for a full-time job. It reminds him about your job experience and the offers you’ve been given along your professional journey.

Interview Question: Tell me something you’re proud of that is not listed on your resume

You could be asked, Tell me something you’re proud of that is not listed on your resume.Always have some things set-aside that is not included on your resume. Your answer to this could be about a hobby, a team sport you were a part of in college or high school or any certifications like First Aid. It’s good to embellish on your answer here and don’t’ be afraid to talk about your life outside of the professional arena. They want to know you’re a person too.

Interview Question: Do you have any questions for me?

At the end of the interview, you’re almost always asked,Do you have any questions for me? The answer should never be, “No.” Ask questions, even if it’s a follow-up to something they may have already mentioned, like work hours or your responsibilities. Have questions already prepared whether it’s a question about the company in general or maybe what his responsibilities are at the company. Definitely keep them talking here.

With a little preparation and a lot of confidence, you’ll get that job offer every time.

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