Smart Strategies You Can Use
To Ace Your Next Job Interview,
Regardless of Previous Work Experience
During the job search process, getting interviews is obviously
an integral part of securing employment.
However, it's been our experience to see many people let their
guard down during the interview process and fail to get the job
they so desire due to lack of preparation.
Many people sabotage their own efforts through nervousness or simple
ignorance about what they should expect during job interviews.
However, there is hope. There are many strategies you can use to
ensure that you'll make a favorable, memorable impression during
your next job interview.
Making a favorable, memorable impression is important even if you
don't get that job, because if the person that was hired in your
place doesn't work out, you'll be considered next on the list.
could also be that you will qualify for some other position at the
company with which you interviewed, a position that you would not
otherwise be considered for had you not made such a good impression.
The following strategies are proven to work, and they're based
on what numerous interviewers have said they want to see in an interview.
You must show a genuine interest and dedication in wanting the job
you're applying for.
An employer is more likely to choose someone who shows these qualities
yet isn't quite qualified over someone who is qualified but seems
disinterested or arrogant.
Prepare for the interview.
You'll always want to be well-prepared for the interview. Do practice
interviews, and make sure you know by heart the answers to all of
the common questions listed below:
Take the time to carefully review the following questions. Write
out your answers to these questions and go over them until you're
clear in both your thoughts and your verbal expression of those
You may save yourself a critical tense moment in an important interview
by calmly and clearly answering these questions before you are in
an actual interview.
1. Tell me about yourself. How would you describe yourself?
2. In what type of position are you most interested?
3. Are you looking for a permanent or a temporary job?
4. Why do you think you would like this particular type of job?
5. What are your career goals? (What do you want to be doing at
age 25? At 35? Include both short-term and long-term goals.)
6. What jobs have you held? How were they obtained? Why did you
leave? (Be ready with an answer that is clear and to the point:
I left to return to college; the position was phased out.)
7. What do you know about our company? (Do some research on this.)
8. What interests you about our product or service?
9. Do you prefer working with others or by yourself?
10. What would you do if ... ? (Imagine situations that test a
person's knowledge of the job.)
Make sure your clothing is appropriate, clean, and pressed. Prepare
a portfolio to bring with you. Research the company and prepare
questions to ask of the interviewer.
Listen as much or more than you talk.
You should only be talking 40-50% of the time during the interview.
Answer the questions you're asked without rambling on or diverting
to other topics of discussion related to the question being asked.
If you think the interviewer might want more information, ask the
question, "Do you need me to elaborate more on that question?"
Never interrupt the interviewer.
Remember, you want to avoid talking too much. Be clear, concise
and to the point. Whenever possible, cite examples of previous experience
to support your answers and reference relevant knowledge about the
company you're interviewing with.
Not only will it show your interest in the company, but the answers
will inform you as to whether or not you want to work for the company.
When appropriate, ask about a typical workday, expectations as
well as questions about what it takes to be successful in the company.
You need to realize that you too are interviewing them for the
job. This not only shows your interest but allows you to determine
if the position you're applying for is a match for you.
Use confident body language.
Confident body language will really help you to sell yourself.
Interviewer will pay more attention to your non-verbal body language
than you may think.
Offer the interviewer a dry, firm handshake, smile, and maintain
eye contact. When you're sitting down, sit up straight and don't
let your eyes wander.
If you're being interviewed by a panel, take the time to make eye
contact with all panel members when you're asked questions.
Interviewers generally see wandering eyes as a sign of inattention
or boredom! Also, nod when the interviewer is talking to show that
The use of confident body language will have a huge impact on your
chances to be considered for employment. Be prepared!
Know how to navigate trick questions.
Conventional wisdom says when an interviewee is asked what their
weakness is that they turn it into a positive by saying they're
a perfectionist or something similar.
The trouble is that interviewers have heard this all before. Instead,
highlight a skill you wish to improve upon - especially if you're
currently working on it and it complements what you already know.
Some questions the interviewer asks may be too open-ended or unclear,
as well. In this case, ask the interviewer to clarify and base your
answer on the interviewer's answers.
Taking the time to answer questions thoroughly and backing them
up with previously objective information to support your answers
will be an integral part of the interview.
Collect business cards and capture information from the company.
When the interview is over and you've once again expressed your
interest in the position collect a business card from every interviewer
and any other person, such as the receptionist who initially helped
Take the time to send a thank-you note out to each of these people.
Thank-you notes allow you to emphasize highlights of the interview
and clarify any information, which will refresh the interviewer's
memory of you.
This not only shows a high level of dedication, but also demonstrates
that you care about the time they took out of their days to spend
on you - it's a level of politeness that's truly memorable!
Follow up and knowing when to follow up.
Get a timeline from the company on when you can expect to hear
back from them, and ask them what the next step will be.
If you haven't heard anything after a week or within the time frame
given, give the company a call and make a polite inquiry about when
you can expect to hear back. Let them know that you're still interested.
If they give you a date during this call and that passes without
contact, call them again and make another inquiry. Persistence can
be key in getting the job.
A common mistake many candidates make is not trying all avenues
to get an interview. When possible, use the phone, fax, email and
a visit to the company simultaneously. Don't overdo it; use good
judgment to give yourself as many opportunities to secure an interview
with the employer.