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10 Tips on How to Succeed at a Job Interview
The Job Interview
There are many ways to approach a job interview. You can over think it and stumble over your own words, or you could approach it too casually and not answer the interviewer's questions effectively.
With the tips below you can properly prepare yourself for the job interview so that you not only survive the process, but get the job you are interviewing for.
I have been with my organization for over 15 years and have received three promotions within that organization. I have been a supervisor for over 10 years and I have conducted multiple job interviews.
Prepare for the Job Interview
There are a few things you need to do even before you go to the job interview.
- Decide what you want to wear to the interview.
- Review the job specifications, the organization, your resume, etc.
- Look for interview questions online that relate to the job you are interviewing for and prepare answers to those questions.
- Prepare what questions you want to ask those interviewing you.
Arrive Early for a Job Interview
You should arrive early for a job interview. Plan to arrive 20-30 minutes early. Here's why:
- You need to find a place to park. If you have to park far away from your destination, then it'll take you time to walk to where the interview is being held.
- Go to the restroom beforehand. Do your business, check yourself in the mirror, etc. to ensure you look good for the interview.
Have you ever been late to a job interview?
Shut Off Your Phone Before a Job Interview
You should shut your phone off before the interview starts. Don't put it on vibrate. Shut it all the way off. It's distracting during the interview process even if it vibrates. Plus it will look bad to those interviewing you if your phone starts to ring during the interview.
Keep Your Eyes Focused on Those Interviewing You
Don't fidget, look around, or do anything else distracting. Look your interviewer(s) in the eye. You have to show that you are completely focused on them. If you can't look at your interviewer in the eye, how can they expect you to perform your job duties?
Job Interview Question - Tell Me About Yourself
Don't State That You're Nervous
Everyone is nervous during a job interview. But if you can't control it and feel the need to express it, then you may have the same problem when you start the job. Employers need staff who are cool under pressure and don't succumb to interview jitters. As an alternative, think of those interviewing you as distant relatives. That will ensure you are relaxed, but not too relaxed.
Be Prepared for Anything
Be flexible when you start your interview. You may have been told only one person was going to interview you, but end up with a three person panel instead. Or you could be interviewing with someone totally different that who you were expecting. Each interview experience is different, making the real challenge adjusting to those circumstances.
A Bad Job Interview
Answer Job Interview Questions Honestly
Honesty is always preferred, even if the answer is admitting you don't know the answer. I have gone into interviews where I state I don't know something and the interview goes fine. If you lie about something, it could cost you the job. Even if you have been fired from a job, you should be honest about the situation.
Job Interview Gone Wrong
I was helping conduct a panel interview for entry level positions in my department. This person walked in wearing clothing inappropriate for the interview, forgot how old she was, stated she was like a "chameleon" when it came to getting along with others, and admitted that she was still late to work often despite her boss talking to her about it. This is an example of what NOT to do at a job interview.
Don't Ramble in a Job Interview
I have conducted interviews where people have rambled on to pointless topics that had nothing to do with the questions I have asked. Listen to the question, gather your thoughts, then respond appropriately. Don't say little, but ensure you stick to your points.
Job Interview Tips
Focus on Real World Experience
In today's tough job market having a college degree will only get you so far. Real world experience is something that will prove to be more valuable to employers. Even a minimum wage job held during high school could give you an edge over someone who has just a degree.
Job Interview Quiz
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Don't Attempt to Spin a Negative Into a Positive
Everyone has faults and your employer wants to see what ones you have. Never try to turn a negative into a positive. If asked about a weakness, don't state, "I'm too organized". That isn't a weakness. Another example is if you are asked if you ever had to deal with conflict in the workplace. Be honest about it instead of saying you have never had a conflict with a co-worker.
© 2012 David Livermore