Let’s be honest. Interviews are tough. It’s almost impossible to predict what an employer is looking for and whether you’re going to be the right candidate for the job. You may match some of the job requirements, but there is always something that doesn’t quite line up.
The job description can be interpreted in many ways. You’re confident the job lines up perfectly with your experience and education, but how are you supposed to know that the hiring manager doesn’t really want someone with five years of sales experience? What she really wants is someone with about a year of experience so that she can train him in her own sales methods. She doesn’t want to un-train someone, no matter how successful they were.
If you make it to the interview, you can be sure you’ve got something the hiring manager likes. At least on paper. Now it’s time to use your persuasive conversation skills to seal the deal. To make the most of your face-to-face interview, Monster.com suggests there are five best things to say in a job interview.
Ask questions. An interview is supposed to be a dialogue, so don’t end the interview by passing up the chance to ask some questions of the interviewer. It shows you have an interest in the company and the job. It shows you did your homework and are able to ask some questions worth discussing. Speak the interviewer’s language. What type of jargon is part of the company’s vocabulary? Get to know the names of the key players and the company’s product names and services. Use these in the interview. It can make the hiring manager picture you as part of the team.
When asked a tough question or when you need a few moments to get your thoughts together, compliment the interviewer by letting her know she asked a good question. Don’t forget to let her know why you want the job. What is it about the job, the company or the opportunity that draws you to the position? Let her know it’s not just a job, but something that you’re passionate about.
Now, there are some things you don’t want to say in an interview. Like asking questions about how much vacation you get the first year and when you’ll be up for a raise. Employers don’t expect to spend a first interview telling a candidate how fast they’ll be able to take time off or subtly complain about the starting salary.
LinkedIn suggested this and other things you shouldn’t say in an interview. Like using worn out phrases—“I’m a people person,” or “I’m a team player.” Buzz words or phrases sound canned and insincere. Who isn’t a people person in a job interview? Come up with something original and pertinent to the job.
Don’t use one-word answers or rattle on and on. The longer you talk, the more chance you have of getting off topic or saying something you may regret. Another “don’t” is not coming up with any weaknesses. Everyone has them. The trick is to turn weaknesses into strengths and how dealing with them taught you valuable life lessons to make you more effective. It’s not accepting you have a weakness that is the problem.
All these do’s and don’ts can be confusing. It’s hard to know the best course of action in the interview. The most important rule is to be you. You’re going to be yourself on the job, so if the job isn’t right for the real you, it just isn’t right at all.
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