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How to Ace your Job Interview

Updated on October 26, 2011

How to Prepare for a Job Interview

There are so many webpages that give you practiced answers to typical job interview questions, BUT THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM.

Here you will find REAL, USEFUL and EFFECTIVE job interview tips and strategies that will help you land your next job! These are tactics that I have recently used to find work, and I know first hand how successful these tips can be.

With so many people out of work these days, and such fierce competition, there is no better time than now to brush up on your interviewing skills.

Please read on below, and I hope you will find this information worth while to share with others.

“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.”

- Richard Kline

Which Interview Question Sucks the Most?

In your opinion, which question sucks the most?

See results

Interview Question: So, tell me about yourself.

a typical ice-breaker..

This question can be answered in two ways.

1. You tell them what your resume already says. Where you went to school, what jobs you have worked, etc.

2. You tell them personal information, which you are not required to tell them, and potentially lose a job offer by saying something they did not want to hear - thus opening yourself up to personal bias.

Best option: Only share you professional background, stay away from personal details. Highlight areas in your resume; share your education and let them know how many years you have been in the work force. Mention any large accomplishments, or professional milestones that you have achieved.

Interview Question: How well do you handle stress?

This is a tricky question, and if asked incorrectly it could bring about a one-worded answer, which is never good in an interview.

I was once asked this question, only it was rephrased to say "How well do you handle multi-tasking?". The interviewer replied that they have asked that question countless times, and my answer was probably the best one they had ever heard. Now, I believe in sharing, so I'm going to tell you what my answer was.

My answer was, "When I am given multiple deadlines, I organize my effort based on which deadline is due first, and tackle them in that order. Almost always, someone will throw in an urgent task that needs to be completed in the next five to ten minutes, in which case I must prioritize in order to get everything done. Now, sometimes you cannot actually get everything done yourself and you need to ask for help, and that is okay, as long as everything gets done on time. I think it is a strength for someone to realize they have too much on their plate and ask for help".

Interview Question: What is your biggest weakness?

This is a question designed to lead you to admit fault, and it is also one of the most practiced questions by job seekers. Professionals always suggest that you word your weakness in a way that it reveals a strength.

The best way to handle this is with honesty, but be careful not to reveal a weakness that would get you kicked out of the candidate pool. It is a good idea to bring up a minor weakness, and then explain how you are always working to improve it.

I have answered this question in multiple ways, but here are just a couple.

  • Weakness: Speaking in front of large groups.

    I have said that one aspect of my career that I am always working on is speaking in front of large groups. Recently I had an interview and I revealed that the largest group I have spoken to was over 50 people and I was very nervous. Later, my co-workers, who I was speaking to, told me I had done a fantastic job and were shocked to find out I was nervous. So, although I did not appear nervous, I felt nervous, so I wanted more opportunities to practice public speaking.

  • Weakness: Written Communication.

    Again, I would not consider this a weakness, but something I always strive for is better verbal and written communication. Whether through email, or text, I feel that as technology has advanced, writing etiquette sometimes suffers and becomes too casual. For this reason, I strive to maintain professionalism in my written communication, and this is something I am always working on.

Complete Interview Outfit: Men

Navy and grey suits are perfect for job interviews - show off your personal style with a modern cut, while keeping it traditional in color. Complete the look with black shoes, socks, and a crisp watch.

Even if the office looks casual, don't forget to wear a tie! It will help complete your look, and it is a great opportunity to add a little color and personality. Keep it simple, and don't get something with crazy patterns.

Complete Interview Outfiit: Women

Women should stick to traditional colors, and like men, use a modern cut to show off their personal style. A modern skirt suit is nice for more traditional offices. If you have warm weather, wear a nice button down shirt and tuck it into a high waist pencil skirt. Add a belt, bracelet and classic black pumps and you are good to go! Add color with a handbag - I've added a Citronella Kate Spade bag to the outfit below.

Feel free to wear a pants suit if that is what you are comfortable with - Just make sure you wear one that fits you well.

ABSOLUTELY NO short skirts, low cut shirts or open toe shoes!

Interview Portfolios - Holds Resume, Paper, Pen, Interview Questions

Sample Questions to ask the Employer - minimum of 3... 5 is better.

During an interview, it is expected that you will have prepared questions to ask them. Almost every interview will have time set aside at the end to devote to your questions. If you do not ask any questions they will likely feel you did not prepare, or are not bright, and that will certainly not land you the job. It is best to prepare at least three questions.. I have typically prepared five, and I have listed my favorite questions here.

  1. Can you describe what a typical day would be like working in this position?
  2. Can you describe the company's organizational structure, and how this position fits into that structure?
  3. How often is performance reviewed, and how is it evaluated?
  4. What career advancement opportunities would be available to someone in this position?
  5. How would you describe the work environment and culture in your office?

Other than getting a full night of sleep, eating a good breakfast will help keep you alert for your interview. Try this simple and easy breakfast sandwich. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, and it tastes great!

If you don't like goat cheese feel free to substitute another cheese or even avocado instead.

Ingredients

  • Whole Wheat English Muffin
  • Tomato Slices
  • (1) Egg
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • Optional: 2 bacon slices
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a non-stick skillet, scramble egg until done.
  2. Split english muffin and assemble egg, tomato, goat cheese, and bacon if desired. Salt and Pepper to taste.
  3. Enjoy!
5 stars from 1 rating of Power Breakfast

Send a Thank You Card

Always be sure to send a thank you card after an interview. It will help you stand out from the pack, and it will keep you in the mind of the interviewer.

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    • profile image

      CoverLetterINterview 

      5 years ago

      Good advice, very comprehensive.

      One key statement you quoted: Preparation is within your control. Everything else is not.

      Something you won't usually know is there may be someone waiting in the wings that is connected somehow to the company or someone in the company.

      They have to go through the candidate search to keep up appearances -knowing all along who they want to hire.

      You have no control over that. The best thing to strive for is to come in a close second -just in case golden boy (or girl) doesn't work out.

      Nice work.

      Dave

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      My problem area is the whole interview. I just get so nervous and I am always afraid that I will say something terribly wrong. And I never have questions at the end, I never know what kind of questions they are expecting. I want them to feel like they did a great job conducting the interview and that they covered everything.

      I know it is not much, but I have a couple of job interviews lined up, but I have no idea how to dress. They are both at the mall. One being Macy's. I know not to wear jeans and sneaks, but I don't want to OVERdress. Any tips? I also don't want to look like I am trying too hard. I am 21, if that changes anything.

    • profile image

      resumeformat 

      6 years ago

      Full of sound advice. It is amazing how many people go to a job interview not properly prepared.

    • profile image

      russell-tuckerton 

      6 years ago

      Pretty good. You have a couple of spelling errors in your lens, but the info is basically correct. Check out interview-aid.com for more tips from a hiring manager currently employed as a Fortune 500 exec!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Thanks, It was perfect.

    • Tiggered profile image

      Tiggered 

      6 years ago

      One day I'll go to an interview and honestly answer all the questions :) I'll be guaranteed not to get the job, but oh what a pleasure it will be! :)

    • Mclure2 profile image

      Mclure2 

      6 years ago

      Really helpful lense. Thank you

    • I-sparkle profile image

      I-sparkle 

      6 years ago

      I'm not sure if you will get a LotD for your lens, however I thought you did a great job. I really liked the way that you shared your experience and gave a practical plan for every aspect of this grueling process. Congrats on a job well done!

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