Fundamental Strategies for an Impressive Job Interview

April 7th, 2009

Submitting a great resume for a career opportunity posting is only the first step in landing your ideal position. The interview becomes the next high priority.

On paper, many people appear qualified, but it is what you communicate during the interview that will make or break your chances of receiving an offer.

Distinguishing Yourself

The interview is the step that can set you apart from the other applicants – for better or for worse. Hiring personnel make their decisions based largely on how you answer their questions, how you look, and how you conduct yourself.

This is where it pays to be well informed on what you should do and, just as importantly, what you should not do during the interview process.

Initial Impressions are Critical

You must make a great first impression. That means dressing appropriately in a suit and tie for men, or a pantsuit or skirt and blouse for a woman.

Even if you are applying for an entry level position, you should dress in a business-like fashion that portrays confidence and business sense.

How You Present Yourself

You also want to walk in with confidence, and shake hands immediately with all present, using a firm grip. A first impression is something that your future employers will remember long after they have met with many candidates.

Next, “wow” them with your research of the company. Always come to the discussion knowing the basics of what the company does, how long they have been in business, their top executive, and what the job you are applying for entails.

That prior knowledge will help you to articulate what you can do for the business in the role for which you have applied. It may also impress the person conducting the interview when you bring up a company related topic with which not many people are familiar.

However do so subtlety and only when the opportunity is presented. Forcing such knowledge into the conversation comes across as phoney.

Talking with Your Body

Another tip to have a great job interview is to be cautious about your body language. As with almost any relationship, it can be more important how you say something than what you actually say.

If you are slumped down in your chair and not enthusiastically showing your interest, then no matter what you say could be perceived as disinterest in the job.

That is why you need to sit up straight, keep good eye contact, smile routinely, and allow your body language to communicate your honesty, enthusiasm and openness.

Self-Confidence

Finally, portray your confidence level. Answer questions with a purpose and don’t hem or haw during the interview. Even if you do not know the answer, just say so instead of making something up or elaborating on something that is not asked.

Your answers should get to the point while simultaneously providing some level of detail. Confidence often reflects competence, and that is a trait all employers desire.

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