Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Master the Art of Interviewing

Although your resume is the key to landing an interview, it is essentially the interview that will get you the job. Many job seekers assume that they can rely on their resume and experience to impress potential employers and often make the mistake of not fully preparing for an interview. It is important to take every avenue of opportunity to sell yourself to potential employers, especially in the interview, since this is the most crucial component to your job search.

An interview is the time to let your personality shine and to demonstrate to employers that you would be a valuable asset to their organization. It is essential to do your research before interviewing to learn successful techniques to increase your chances of receiving a job offer. Listed below are some tips on how to effectively handle the interview process:
Do Your Research - It’s important to be confident and prepared. The first step you should take in your job search is to conduct research on companies of interest before applying to a job or showing up for an interview. By understanding and showing interest in the company, you can customize your pitch, demonstrate the value you will bring to the organization and confidently convince employers that you are the right candidate.

Practice, Practice, Practice - Prepare for an interview by running through commonly asked interview questions. Understand that interviewing is a skill and as with any skill, practice makes perfect!

Dress Professionally - When you are on an interview, you are marketing yourself as the best candidate for the job, so it’s important to dress professionally. Appropriate attire and good personal hygiene demonstrates that you are not only willing to take that extra step to look your best but also do your best.

Make a Positive First Impression - First impressions are critical. Arrive early, give a firm handshake and make eye contact throughout the interview. It is important to be confident, but most importantly, be yourself!

Go Beyond the Canned Response - Behavioral interviewing is an ever-growing interview technique. Rather than merely telling the interviewer what you would do in a situation, demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and abilities by giving specific examples from past work experiences. Use this as an opportunity to emphasize the value you would bring to the company by citing a situation where you effectively used your skill set to overcome a difficult situation.

Ask Questions - Express interest and willingness to learn about the company by asking questions and listening to details about the organization. Remember, that you are not the only one being interviewed – you are also trying to determine if the company and position are right for you. This portion of the interview is your chance to shine. Not having any questions for the interviewer can show that you are uninterested and unprepared.

Follow Up - Reinforce to the employer that you bring value to their organization by developing a well-written thank you note. A thank you note is an easy and surefire way to show your appreciation, reiterate you are the best candidate and demonstrate your initiative and follow-through. It is also appropriate to make a follow up call, unless instructed otherwise by the employer.
Prove You Are the Right Candidate for the Job
Regardless of the position you are interviewing for, it is equally important to impress potential employers with your interviewing style and technique. Before your next interview, be sure to brush up on your interviewing skills and remember to be calm and confident to prove you are the best candidate for the position.


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