Ace that Job Interview!

Got interviews?

How do you stand out from the crowd with 8.1% of Americans unemployed and hundreds applying for the same position? The recession is throwing more and more people into the job hunt, people who haven’t the slightest idea about how to make it through a coveted interview. So, how should one answer the questions? If you or someone you know has an interview scheduled for this week. Here are a few pointers:

  • Prepare for the questions. Look for clues from the job description, phone interviews or conversations with the person setting up the interview. What type of person are they looking for? What goals would their ideal candidate have?
  • Confirm your assumptions during the interview. Probe for clues to what type of candidate the interviewers are looking for. Ask questions of the interviewer.
  • Don’t spit back the interviewer’s words when you answer the question. For example, if they say they’re looking for someone that can take on a leadership role, don’t just say “I want to be in a leadership role.” Instead, state that you want to be instrumental in growing the company/department/organization. If you’ve done any training in areas of management or leadership, you can say that you want an opportunity to use these new skills.
  • Be sincere and confident. If the interviewer feels you’re just saying something because you think that’s what they want to hear, it may turn them off. The same holds true for you providing an answer that you obviously don’t believe you can achieve.
  • Be realistic – from the interviewer’s perspective. Our goal here is to get the job and the interviewer may not share our overwhelming optimism – or worse, feel threatened by it. So choose your words carefully to ensure that you don’t intimidate the interviewer. You can still keep your goals; you just want to share them with people that will support you.
  • If multiple people interview you, make sure that your answer is consistent between all interviewers. You don’t want to come across as someone who will say anything to get the job – unless you’re a politician.

So for your next interview, make sure your answer is sincere, confident, realistic (from the interviewer’s point of view) and an in-line with the interviewer’s goals.

What's your success did you get the job?

Resources that will put you ahead:

“How to survive in an Interview and …Get the Job!” a DVD series developed by Human Resources Professionals. Click here to watch a video clip.