The job interview is such a hot topic that almost every day I find something else being posted online about how to improve your chances of success. I have read through several today, but they all hit on common themes which, I’m plased to find, I’ve covered quite thoroughly in my book. So perhaps it’s worthwhile to remind everyone of some of the most crucial ways to succeed in a job interview:
1. Be prepared. Learn as much as you can ahead of time about the organization and the specific job for which you are applying. Be able to talk about how your skills, experiences, and expertise can make contributions to the organization. (See Step 3: Research Potential Jobs.)
2. Be on time. Actually, it’s best if you arrive about five minutes early. Plan your route, allow for traffic or construction, leave home early. (See Tip 42: Learn how to interview.)
3. Be attentive. Listen carefully to the interviewer. Make eye contact.
Be responsive. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. Prepare for common questions. If the question isn’t clear, ask for clarification. If you need a moment to think, say so—but don’t take more then a few seconds. If you don’t know the answer, admit it and say you’ll find out and get back to them. (See Appendix J: Typical interview questions and Tip 45: Prepare for difficult questions.)
4. Be prepared with your own questions. (See Appendix A: Formulating questions for the information interview, which can give you ideas about questions to ask in the job interview.)
5. Be confident, but not arrogant. If you’ve done your research, and you’re able to tell them how you can work within the organization, you will come across as confident. Just don’t make it sound like you’re going to take the organization to the next level or improve things beyond their wildest dreams!
6. Be dressed appropriately. (See Appendix K: Dressing for the interview.)
7. Be sure to take extra copies of your resume (see Tip 38: Create [or update] your resume) and a list of your references (see Tip 40: Create your reference list.)
8.Be polite, personable, and gracious. Send a thank you note. (See Tip 47. Be sure to send a thank you note within one week of an interview.)
If I come across new and promising job interview strategies, I’ll be sure to post them in a future blog entry.