By Marie Magdala Roker
Anyone who is a jobseeker knows that looking for a new job or career is a job in itself. Once you have completed the laborious task of writing your resume and submitting it to various companies, you now have to pass the screen test to get the job. Interviews are the gateway to landing your ideal job. These five tips will help you get on your way to making that job yours.
Tip 1. Be Confident.
Your first impression is your only impression. Nothing is worse than a limp handshake, slumped shoulders, poor eye contact or poor communication skills. A potential employer can tell immediately if you are the man or woman for this job by your body language. Although aggressiveness is a turn-off, being passive gives the indication that you are not sure of yourself or your qualifications. Keep eye contact when answering questions or when the interviewer is speaking directly to you. Smile occasionally to show your interest and enthusiasm. Keeping a steady gaze on the interviewer can be disturbing to an interviewer. Look away occasionally. Lean forward to show that you are interested in what the interviewer is saying. Speak in a concise and clear voice. If you have problems annunciating certain words, don’t try to use them in an interview. If this is difficult for you, practice with a mirror and pay attention to your facial expressions.
Other interview killers: Slouching in a chair, crossing your arms, playing with your hair or jewelry, Leaning back in the chair.
Tip 2. Act as If.
You are what you believe. Act as if you had the job. What would you do if you had this position? How would you act? How would a person in this position act and speak? What are your responsibilities in this position? What is a typical day like for you in this job? Change your attitude towards yourself and your strengths. If you start thinking that you won’t get the job, you will do small unnoticeable things to sabotage your chances. Great free resource: www.confidenceworld.com.
Tip 3. Know the Company.
Know the business. I once sat on a couple of interviews where the interviewees did not do any research on the company. This sends a message that you are looking for any job, not this specific job. Once your interview is scheduled, get on the net and start finding out everything you can about the company. A good place to start is www.hoovers.com, which gives you industry information, top competitors, names of CEO, etc. If you’d like to know what current or former employees have to say about the company, try www.wetfeet.com. Beware of disgruntled postings. Call the company headquarters and ask for the marketing department to get specific information. Weave your research into the interview by stating. I read an article in the Wall Street Journal, which mentioned that your company is thinking about XYZ. This lets the interviewer know that you have taken the time to know more about the company. You can ask questions about something you read, but don’t challenge them or you’ll come across as a know-it-all.
Tip 4. Be Prepared.
Know what to say. Most interviewers ask the same standard questions about your strengths, weaknesses, former employers, work history. If you are being interviewed by several people, this might be a good cop, bad cop situation. Pay attention to who is playing bad cop, they are looking for signs of weakness and dishonesty. To be well prepared, before the interview, write out all your accomplishments, both personal and professional. List your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest, it’s easier to remember the truth than it is a lie. Extra Tip: Write out situations in which you have demonstrated: leadership skills, determination, stress management, creativity, and flexibility. Be prepared to answer the question: Why do you want this job? If you’re not sure, reevaluate your decision. If you arrive a few minutes early, review what you wrote in the waiting room before the interview. Great list of interview questions: http://www.indiana.edu/~libpers/interview.html
Tip 5. Ask for The Job.
You get what you ask for. The most important step in the interviewing process is one most people miss. ASK FOR THE JOB! Most interviewers are waiting for that closure. If you have done everything exceptionally well during the interviewing process, but have not asked for the job, you’ve just wasted an interview. Asking for the job shows the potential employer that you are assertive, confident and right for the job. It might feel uncomfortable, but this is your only chance to ask for something you really want. Make sure your voice is firm and you make eye contact. Think of it as your closing argument, you’ve got to win over the jury. You should also ask the interviewer if he or she thinks you are right for the job. Even if they tell you something unpleasant, think of it as a lesson learned. However, do yourself a favor and ask for the job. You deserve it!