How to Make a Great Impression in a Job Interview

These days there is more competition than ever for good jobs, so you have done really well to get to the interview stage. Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but success is more likely if you prepare well and adopt a positive, confident frame of mind. Follow these top tips for job interview success. A recent article in Newsweekly magazine featured interviews with Human Resources executives and corporate recruiters. They said that more college graduates come unprepared to job interviews. As many as 1 in 5 make an appearance at an interview totally unprepared and have no chance of being hired. One woman showed up at an interview with her cat. Many others felt the need to take phone calls or text during the interview.

Consider that if you prepare for a job interview you increase your chances of being hired by 20% just by being reasonably prepared. Part of this begins with knowing that YOU want that job you interview for. Whether you take the job or not is another matter, but you must make the impression you are serious about working. The appropriate attitude is vital. This means being willing to work to get work, to do those things necessary to contact companies, use networking, prepare for interviews, and show up on time for interviews looking professional and ready to work.

Preparation is vital –

Visit the company’s website and read about what the company does, who it works with & where it conducts business. Try to get a feel for the ethos and values of the company. Use the company website – and a search engine if necessary – to find out more about the key players; what can you discover about the president, owner or manager of the company and the head of the department you will hopefully be joining? Whilst doing this research, start to think about any questions you might ask during the interview. It can often be difficult to think of sensible and worthwhile questions, but the more you know about the company the more interested and interesting you will seem.

Don’t forget to also read through your original application and resume – it is likely that you will be asked about previous employment and any interests you have mentioned, so don’t get caught out! Reread the original job description and specification to identify the skills and qualities the company will be looking for. Consider how you can demonstrate that you possess each of these skills and qualities; you will need to refer to specific examples from your own life or career to prove how perfect you would be for the job!

There are some questions which you are almost guaranteed to be asked, so think about how you will answer in advance. 5 common interview questions are:

* Why do you want this job?
* What can you bring to our company?
* What are your strengths/weaknesses?
* Give me an example of a time you dealt with a difficult customer/coped well under pressure etc.
* Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In answering these questions, try to be as honest as possible, but use your common sense. If your weakness is bursting into tears when someone criticises your work, it might be better to focus on something else; instead try to cite a weakness which could also be seen as a positive, such as your attention to detail, which can sometimes cause you to spend too long on one aspect of your work. If you want the job because it’s ten minutes from home, perhaps keep silent about that, focusing instead on the high profile of the company or how much you feel you can learn from working in a successful business.

Look confident, feel confident, be confident –

It goes without saying that you must look your best. What you wear will depend on the nature of the specific job and company, but generally speaking you should look smart and professional. It’s a good idea to wear at least a splash of color – perhaps a nice tie, scarf or piece of jewelry, to help you to stand out from the crowd and leave a visual impression. Whatever you decide to wear, you must feel relaxed and comfortable in your outfit; this will ensure that you project a positive attitude and confidence.

Smile when you meet your interviewers; shake their hands firmly and listen when they give you their names, or instructions as to what will happen during the interview. Remember, they will be watching you at all times, making judgments and assessing your suitability for the job. When you are asked questions, don’t be afraid to take a few moments to consider your answer; if you need to, ask them to repeat or clarify the question. Be honest about your experiences, skills and abilities; there is no point claiming you can operate a forklift truck, use particular software or speak French if you cannot. If it’s appropriate, admit what you don’t know but show enthusiasm for learning the new skill.

As the interview comes to an end, do not forget to ask when you can expect to hear from the company. If you are lucky enough to be offered the job, don’t shy away from discussing salary expectations – they clearly want you for the position, so be honest about what you feel you are worth. If the news is not what you hoped for, ask for some feedback – it will come in useful for your next interview.

Want an extra edge in job interviews? Check out, Complete Job Interview Answers Guide.

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