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How to present well at a job interview


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How to present well at a job interview

  1. 1. How to present well at a job interview<br />Instructions<br />Things You'll Need:<br />a good attitude <br />proper attire <br />a good resume <br />confidence <br />quick thinking <br />personality <br />good judgement <br />1<br />First, look for a job for which you are qualified. Use all of the resources available to you, including the local job placement center, newspaper, internet, head hunters, friends and relatives, etc. Finding that dream job, or just work that pays well, starts with covering all the bases. But don't waste your time or theirs by applying for every advertised job because of the pay or hours. If you can't do the work, everyone will know it in short order, and you'll be back looking for work soon.<br />2<br />Double check that you meet the specific requirements as they are listed in the job description. Check on licensure requirements and ensure any licenses you have are up to date. If there is not a job description in the ad, don't be afraid to call or visit the potential employer and ask for one. That always tells me that the person is responsible considerate of my time. There is nothing I hate more than spending a day interviewing people who do not fit.<br />3<br />Spend some time on your resume. I suggest everyone should have a basic template resume that outlines your work history, skills and education. Then, as you apply for each job, go to that template and tailor it to highlight specific details of your skill set that make you the right person for the job. Sit the job description next to you as you work and include all the ways in which your history lives up to the skills they are looking for. Pay specific attention to areas like the cover letter, objective, technical skills and assigned duties at previous jobs. I want the applicant to tell me in a concise way what they have done at previous jobs or in school that make them uniquely qualified for the position. Each cover letter should always be tailored to the exact position you are applying for. Never send out a generic "I want a job with your company and am attaching my resume" letter. If you don't care enough to take 5 minutes to throw in some personal touches, why should I think you will really to do more than the minimum once hired? Finally, if the ad specifies that they want a hand-written cover letter, they mean it. There are several reason why an employer asks for this. I, for one, hire for a position that requires a great deal of hand-written communication. I need to know that one can write legibly, spell without the aid of spell-check, and form complete sentences without the help of grammar check. I have actually had people print out their cover letter, then copy it into their own handwriting. That is a good trick if you are worried about your English language skills, albeit deceptive and misrepresentative of your skills, but don't ever include BOTH versions with your resume (it has happened)!<br />4<br />You should follow the instructions for submitting a resume to the letter. If the ad says to mail it, mail it. Do not drop it by or e-mail it. Doing so shows an inability to follow directions or a disregard for the employer's authority to give them. If the ad states you should apply in person, arrive ready to be interviewed. That means to dress appropriately (which I will cover later) and ready to answer questions. Just before going in, take a minute to prep yourself. You may not get that on-the-spot interview, but you want to be ready in case you do. And never pressure an employer to do a interview at that time. If they are so inclined, they will ask you to sit down. Trying to get an interview before they are ready to do one will not show initiative , it will show a disregard for their time and process.<br />5<br />Be available to be interviewed. First, make sure your contact information is up-to-date and that you have an appropriate greeting on your voice mail. I once called an applicant only to hear "Yo! What Up? I'm not here, or maybe I just don wanna talk witchu. Leave me a message but I prolly won call ya back." That resume went right into the not-hired file. If the potential employer calls to set up and interview, think twice before rejecting the first time/date that they suggest. If you absolutley cannot make it for some reason, explain the situation. But move around other appointments if at all possible. You are most likely up against a number of candidates, and you do not want to be the one they remember for being hard to meet with. I once rescheduled a root canal to make an interview. It worked. I got the dental work done later, impressed the employer because I made them the priority, and got the job I've been at for more than three years.<br />6<br />Show up as close to on-time as possible. Although I hate lateness, I dislike those who show up too early almost as much. First, arriving more than 5 minutes early makes you look like a suck-up. I immediately question whether they will ever be on time again if it takes that much extra planning to show up on time for the interview. Second it can put you in the odd position of waiting in the lobby with other candidates. I schedule my interviews fairly close together. If one goes long, I don't like walking out of my office with one person only to find the next waiting on me. I like to have time to digest information in between interviews. Or maybe even have a restroom break. If I have just had a negative experience with one candidate, and don't have time to clear my head, I will start your interview under that cloud. You don't want that.<br />7<br />This is perhaps the most important step, and the one people stumble on most often. Dress appropriately. I put a lot of stock into how much thought a person put into what they wore. It shows good judgement to wear something worthy being interviewed in. Do your homework before the interview. Visit the place you would like to work, or a similar place of business, and observe how the workers dress. Then take it up one notch. If they are wearing T-shirts, wear a polo or dress shirt with no tie. If they wear dress shirts or polos, wear a tie. If they wear ties, wear a jacket and tie. If they wear a jacket and tie, match them in style and color. For women, it is a little harder. If they wear jeans, wear slacks and a sweater or short sleeve shirt. If they are wearing the latter, wear a skirt. If they wear skirts, wear a dress suit. If they wear suits, wear a nice one and accessorize well. And I don't care where you are applying, save a strip joint, never wear sweat pants, a low-cut shirt or let any of your undergarments show!<br />8<br />Be personable, but no pushy. While I like the technique of commonality (looking over the person or their office and commenting something to establish common interests or ties) don't take it too far. I interviewed a former Army man once, who found out I had served in the Air Force. He replied "oh, the Chair Force?" Although I usually take that joke with a grain of salt from friends and family, I was taken aback that this person showed such poor judgement to make fun of my service when I would be his boss. Also, profanity has NO place in an interview, even when prefaced with "excuse the language." If you feel the need to be excused, find another word to use.<br />9<br />Come prepared to think on your feet. You may be asked "why do you want to work here?" or worse, "why should I hire you over all these other qualified people?" Think about those type of questions before you leave the house. If you can't answer them, cancel the interview. You probably aren't qualified anyway. Seriously, do your homework. Find out all you can about the company, the department, the position, and the mission. You can sprinkle these details in discretely to show you took the time to do the research, but don't be too obvious about it. Again, you'll look like you are sucking up. Rather, use that information to tailor yourself to the position in your own mind. For instance, if you find out that the company has had declining sales, don't tell the interviewer, "I noticed on-line that your sales have been declining lately," but rather "I have had experience in a company where I helped turn around a sales slump. In three months, we increased sales by 20%." Simply put, you want to appear to be just the right person at just the right time in the interviewer's mind. If they had a knight in shining armour, they wouldn't be looking at you. Become that person for them.<br />10<br />Come prepared to ask questions, and not just "how much money will I make?" Ask about the duties, the hours, the work environment, the skills, the training program, the opportunity for advancement and relocation. This is also your chance to interview the potential employer. Again, interviewers will appreciate that you care enough to ask good questions. It shows you care more about the job than the paycheck and vacation. You want to find out about the actual job before you start work. Don't be afraid to stop an interview if you encounter a non-negotiable issue. Employers appreciate honesty. Don't waste their time if you suddenly realize the job is not for you. As much as you would like to know why you are or are not selected for a job, employers usually want to know why people leave or turn down jobs. If they see a pattern they can change, most will. Maybe an issue that you consider a show-stopper would have wiggle room if the employer knew it was an issue for you.<br />11<br />Be prepared to show off your skills. With an increasing number of people using template resumes and even embellishing them with skills they don't possess, many employers are now using skill center tests to weed out unqualified candidates early on. If you tell them you know something, be prepared to prove it. For example, I have potential administrative assistance perform some standard tasks in Word and Excel, as well as locate specific files from our filing cabinet and write out a thank-you card. I don't try to throw them off, but just to show that thy can do the things that are essential to the job.<br />12<br />Finally, at the end of the interview, THANK them for their time. Give a pleasant smile and shake their hand. It is okay to ask when they think they will make a decision, if they have not already told you. Also, it is okay to ask if they notify all applicants when the positions is filled, and how they do that (phone or mail?). This way, you can follow up with the HR person if you have not heard anything within a certain time frame. If you find out that you were not hired, it is perfectly acceptable to contact the HR person and tell them you were very interested in working for the company, and request that they keep your resume on file in case the new hire does not work out.<br />Chico's - Official<br />Read more: How to present well at a job interview |<br />