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Job Interview Tips and Best Practices

Updated on March 21, 2015
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Missing Link is originally from rural Ohio. He currently lives in Hillsboro, OR. with his Wife and two Sons.

Practicing for an upcoming interview can be quite helpful. You can do this with a friend or family member and they can offer you constructive feedback. You can watch yourself in a mirror or on video and can tweak things you see or hear that need to be improved. There are things about yourself which you do not realize until you see it on video or hear it on audio.

Be sure to carefully read the job announcement and description as some important information for the interview will surely be there. Look up the employer on the internet and learn all you can about them. Drive to the location a few days prior to the interview so you know where it is at. You can often gain insights by seeing the building/s and the area in general.

Have in mind things you wish to share that you believe will enhance your chances of getting the job. You can stress your past education and vocational experience. You can mention your military experience. You can mention other languages you speak. You are in competition with others for this job and are being judged by the employer. So, you want to shine as much as possible without overdoing it.

You may be asked to explain or elaborate on things you mentioned when you filled out your application. Be ready to discuss a past termination or lay off and the lessons you learned from the experience.

Be sure to clear your mind of distractions prior to the interview. I have done this in the parking lot prior to going in. I close my eyes for a bit, take a few deep breaths and, try to relax as much as possible. You want to focus solely on the interview and not on any other stresses or events going on in your life.

Be on time for your interview. This is a basic and fundamental--YOU MUST BE ON TIME. Being late looks quite bad to the employer. If you are late for something as important as the interview the employer will think you don't really care about the job or that you will be chronically late to work if they hire you. Being late or arriving barely on time will only add to your level of stress.

Make sure you exercise good posture during the interview. Sit up straight. If you are slouched down in your chair it communicates to the employer you are not that interested....even though you really may be. However, you also don't want to appear overly stiff. Much is communicated non verbally.

Be sure to dress appropriately. Do not be overly colorful or flamboyant. Do not go to the interview with excessive or distracting piercings or with green or blue hair; if you do you will not be hired. Try to cover up any tattoos. You basically want to appear as a stable, reliable person. You can be a rebel or counter cultural in your private life but not at the interview. Make sure you don't smell bad from lack of hygiene but also don't wear so much perfume or cologne that you cause the interviewer/s to suffocate.

Greet the interviewer and make good eye contact with a good handshake and, a smile. Be yourself during the interview; don't start speaking with a British accent in an attempt to impress. However, if you are aware of any annoying or distracting habits or nuances you have please do try to conceal those. For example, I have a habit of clearing my throat, coughing, and sniffing when I am stressed. I do my best to conceal or limit these behaviors during an interview.

Listen carefully to the questions asked of you. Be sure to speak clearly. Do not speak in a monotone as it will communicate you are really not that interested. Don't be overly excited or manic either as the interviewer/s may think you drank too much coffee prior to the interview. Moving your hands around somewhat is ok but don't do so excessively. If you are really stumped on a question you can ask the interviewer to repeat the question to buy you a little more time. Do not use this tactic more than once during the interview.

At the end of the interview you may be asked if you have anything further to add or share. Be sure not to ask any questions you should already know the answers to---like information already outlined in the job announcement or description. Don't end the interview with a bad or awkward question. Be sure to thank the employer for inviting you to the interview.

If you can do all of the aforementioned best practices you will greatly enhance your chances of getting the job.


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