After spending time crafting the perfect cover letter, a polished resume and securing a job interview, it's time to prepare for encounters with employers. Learn how to respond to interview questions and present yourself professionally during your interviews with these tips.
Do: Evaluate Your Strengths and Weaknesses
While it may be easier to discuss your strengths during a job interview, you should also be prepared to explore your weaknesses. Employers want to see that you can honestly discuss your skills. Once you have thoroughly presented your strengths, which may include proficiency with hardware and software, an ability to connect with customers and a knack for improving the company culture, discuss skills that you are still improving. Think of your weaknesses as strengths in progress when relaying any professional development courses or workshops you plan to take to expand upon your knowledge of the industry. This way, you can honestly show you're eager to learn and willing to put your best foot forward in all that you do on the job.
Don't: Appear to be Overconfident
Confidence is essential when discussing your skills and experience with an employer, but if you appear too confident, you may come off as egotistical. Make eye contact, smile often and offer a firm handshake when you approach the employer. Detail your experience honestly and with confidence, but avoid indicating you're the best at every single task you complete. Show how you have improved over time and provide an overview of your accomplishments during the job interview, but avoid acting like you're better than your co-workers or supervisors.
Do: Present Professional Application Materials
How you present yourself on paper is just as important as how you present yourself during a job interview. Craft a cover letter and resume that details your experience primarily in that industry. Showcase transferable skills from jobs outside of your field as well. Proofread carefully to ensure you don't have any spelling or grammatical errors. Employers often judge you based on your application materials, and simple mistakes can damage your credibility before you even step into the office.
Don't: Lie to Employers
Many candidates often justify lying as a way to embellish their experience; however, lies during the job interview can come back to haunt you. Be completely honest about your credentials, your education, your work experience and your skills when answering interview questions. It is easy to verify the facts, and lying can impact your future in the industry.
It is common to be nervous or anxious when it's time to meet with employers, but if you are well aware of best practices during a job interview, you can better represent yourself as a professional and hopefully secure a job offer.
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