When you listed your skills on your resume, you may not have realized that one of the most vital proficiencies needed to get the job you want probably wasn't on the list: interviewing skill. No matter what type of position you're applying for, you must master the ability to ace an interview in order to get the offer. Here are some interview tips and techniques to help you get over this hurdle.
Get Plenty of Practice
Many career guidance centers or counselors are available to help you with mock interviews, especially if you're at the beginning of your career. However, even as you advance, getting enough job interview practice is crucial. Do this by interviewing as much as possible, even for positions that may not seem like a perfect fit. You can also request informational interviews, which allow you to practice your responses without the pressure of a looming decision. Nothing helps you overcome pre-interview jitters like feeling prepared and knowing you can do well because you've already done it.
Be Ready With Prepared Answers
In any interview you're likely to be faced with certain questions that are challenging to answer, such as "What is your greatest weakness?" or "Name a time that you failed and how you responded to that failure?" Prepare answers to these questions in advance, making sure to steer clear of cliché responses. For example, instead of answering a question about your greatest weakness by saying you're a perfectionist, be honest about a specific weakness and discuss how you are working to overcome it. Practice your answers to tricky questions until you feel comfortable with what you have to say as well as how you say it.
Leave Early for the Interview
Nothing ruins your composure, or makes a worse first impression, at an interview more than arriving late. You're flustered because you may have gotten lost or had trouble finding parking, and you're aware that you're already being judged negatively. Prevent this by allowing enough time to get there so that you arrive a few minutes early even if you hit a snag or two along the way. However, try not to walk in more than 15 minutes early, as that also makes a bad impression. If you have to kill time before the interview, stay in your car, visualize yourself in the room and practice your prepared answers.
Choose Your Stories in Advance
A job interview can only be successful if you connect with the interviewer and show why you're a great fit for the company. This most effective way to accomplish this is to tell personal stories that highlight your best qualities and accomplishment, provide specifics as to why you're a good choice for the position and help the interviewer get a sense of your personality. As you prepare for the interview, pick a few specific anecdotes you can tell to demonstrate your achievements and qualifications, and practice relating them in a casual and charming way.
Succeeding at a job interview involves pre-planning and preparation. Don't let yourself get flustered when you get in the room. Be ready for difficult questions by thinking your responses through in advance. Select and practice some personal stories to put yourself in the best light possible and maximize your chances of landing the job.
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