Job interviews can be intimidating -- but they are a necessary step for anyone hoping to land a new job. In this article, we have compiled a few important tips that can help you approach your next interview in the most professional (and most effective) manner.
- Put your Best Face Forward. It sounds so simple, but it really does make a difference. Dress up. (And remember that it is better to err on the side of being overdressed rather than underdressed.) Get a new haircut, use that special watch, and make sure to get every detail of your physical appearance right. This shows your employer that you really care about the job and that you are willing to go the extra mile to be professional in all circumstances.
- Research the Company. Every organization has its own specific set of values. Some may place a greater emphasis on certain skills or objectives than others. Taking the time to understand these values will enable you to best communicate how are you will be able to contribute to the organization -- and it will also allow you to better understand how (and if) you will fit into the big picture.
- Ask Questions. Sure, the hiring manager is the one interviewing you. But that doesn't mean that it’s a bad idea to take initiative and ask a few questions of your own. Doing this will help you in a number of ways. First of all, it helps show the hiring manager that you are really serious about the prospect of taking this job, and that you are a thoughtful and prepared person. It also helps demonstrate that you are not desperate for the position. And, if you do discover that there is something about the position that will not work for you, it allows you to save yourself the time and effort that you would have otherwise spent going after the job.
- Be Simultaneously Honest and Positive. This should go without saying, but honesty is always the best policy when it comes to job interviews. When that inevitable tough question does come up, answer as truthfully and as positively as possible. (i.e. No, I don’t have experience in any upper-level management positions, but I feel that my education and training experiences, along with the time that I spent working in mid-level management, left me very prepared to take on this new challenge.”)
- Practice. Every natural born extrovert who excels in interviews and every timid introvert who is terrified by such situations share one thing in common. They could still benefit from a bit of practice and hard work. Interviews are a skill, and just like any other skill, you tend to get better the more that you practice. So, even if it doesn't sound like the funnest activity in the world, asking a friend to conduct a practice interview with you could be a smart decision for your professional future.
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