Good things to say in a job interview

I’ve never known anyone who found a job by using Monster.com, but they do have some good advice for job seekers on their website. One of the readers of my blog recently sent me a link to a Monster article titled “5 Best Things to Say in an Interview” by Catherine Conlan, and today I’m going to share those “5 Best Things” with you.

The first item on her list suggests that you “Ask Good Questions.” As I explain in Tip 42 Learn how to interview, it’s just as important for you to learn about the organization as for them to learn about you. The questions you ask (and you should be given an opportunity to ask questions) will say a lot about how invested you are in the position and how much time you spent doing research on the organization. Good interviewers expect that any candidate who’s serious about their position will have done their homework and come prepared with thoughtful questions.

Conlan also suggests that you tell them that you’re flexible—whether it’s with regard to “possible job duties, a potential start date, or simply timing for a second interview.” The more you can do to make the job of aninterviewer easier, the more likely it is that they will see you as someone who is a team player. However, Conlan notes that being flexible does not mean that you agree to everything that is said, especially when it comes to salary, where you’re allowed, and usually expected, to negotiate!

The third item on Conlan’s list is to use “the company’s own words.” My Tip 42 Learn how to interview provides a table of key steps to follow in preparation for the interview, and the first item in that table is to make sure you do sufficient research about the organization. Using their terminology and demonstrating your familiarity with their mission, structure, and products or services will go a long way to making them realize how much you want to work for them.

Conlan’s fourth suggestion is that you say “That’s a good question” when you’re asked something that you don’t know how to answer. It’s a good way to avoid saying, “I don’t know,” and it gives you a few seconds to think of an answer. Conlan points out that it also “strokes the interviewer’s ego a little bit,” which can be a good thing. However, if you really don’t know how to answer the question, don’t lie. My Tip 45 Prepare for difficult questions can help you think about what to say when an answer eludes you!

The final item on Conlan’s list suggests that you make sure you let them know why you want the job. This goes back to the idea of having done enough research about the organization and the position that you can talk about how your skills match the requirements of the job, and how your values match the values of the organization.

As with nearly all my advice pertaining to interviewing, the foundation is preparation. The more you can plan for your interview, the more confident and comfortable you’ll be during that interview. The more confident and comfortable you are, the more you’ll impress the interviewer with your skills and knowledge, and the more likely you’ll be to succeed.