Job Interview Tips and Strategies

Let ‘Em Know You’re THE One for the Job

Job interviews can be tricky. You have a job description in hand, but you may little else. Your interview is usually a face-to-face event, but in some situations you may be expected to deal with a phone interview. In either case you need to make a big impression without going overboard. Here are some tips.

Show Up!

Whether your interview is in person or over the phone, make sure you get your head into the game, so to speak. You’re unemployed and this job right now is the one you want. Bring a bit of enthusiasm to the table.

Dress appropriately for a professional job interview. Business suits, at the very least business casual. Pants and shirts pressed and crisp, shirts tucked in and hair combed should be a given. Women—don’t try to win a job with cleavage or short skirts. Don’t show up to an interview after you’ve just choked down a garlic bagel, either.

Carry a folio, at least a dozen freshly printed resumes, a copy of the job description for which you’re interviewing, a working pen, and know the name of your interviewer.

A good idea is to do a bit of research on the company prior to the day of the interview. Businesses for the most part have their mission statements, products and services, employee contacts, and general business credos all over their websites. You can get a solid idea of what life might be like as an employee.

Don’t be late, but on the other hand, don’t walk in 30 minutes early.

Body Language

Everything you’ve ever heard about a handshake is true. The rule: firm, but not a knuckle-buster. Make eye contact and smile. Believe it or not a lot about how you carry yourself conveys an image to your interviewers.

  • Don’t Slouch
  • Don’t play with your pen or doodle
  • Avoid the word “um”
  • Make eye contact
  • Have a few questions prepared to ask about the job
  • Offer everyone present a copy of your resume

Managing a Panel Interview

Don’t be surprised if you are interviewing in front of a panel of company reps. Usually these will be employees with which you’ll most closely associate and work with. Use the panel to your advantage.

  • Make eye contact with the person currently asking the question.
  • If possible ask a question of one or two of the interviewers.
  • Jot down names so you remember them and use them during your interview to connect with your panel.
  • Don’t make promises about your qualifications that are untrue. But be confident.
  • During your interview make sure to reference a few high-points on your resume.

Phone Interview

A phone interview offers challenges in that you don’t have the opportunity to make body language work for you. But it also cannot work against you. Be on time for a phone interview. Have a copy of your resume in front of you, plus a copy of the job description.

Situate yourself in a quiet, private location where you have no chance of being disrupted. And be engaged with your interviewer. Take notes while you speak.

Speak clearly and naturally, but remember that you must convey some important things with your voice, without sounding affected and comedic.

Interview Follow-Up That Makes a Difference

Follow-up your interview with a short handwritten thank-you note ASAP. This is rare and goes a long way with many decision-makers tired and bored with email communication.

Good luck!

Comments  

 
# Amy 2011-11-30 15:56
I was at a job 5yrs and left it without a full 2week notice to take a better job offer.. Worked there for 2months then had car problems and couldn't get there anymore. I was discharged due to missing time for that and it was during my 90 day privation period. When interviewing for new jobs I have been telling the truth and it has gotten me nowhere and not hired. What should I say that sounds better? I really need to find a job asap so that I'm not on the street. Its been almost 2 months. Should I take the last job that only lasted 2 months off my resume and not even mention when I'm applying? Then what do I say when they ask why I left the previous job with not enough notice? I've made poor decision on doing that, and know I'll never do that again, but I need someone to give me a chance again and need a job. Please can you help?
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