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Interviews Can Be Fun - If You Know How!

Aug 17, 2007
A good interview depends on the ability of the interviewer to get from the candidate all the best information. After all they have to find an excellent candidate to be successful for the role in question.

So together, in that little room where the interview is to be held, it's a dance together to get the right relationship for both to succeed.

Here are some key steps you can take, before during and after the interview to ensure you have the very best opportunity for success!

1. Be clear on the useful experiences you've had and be prepared to share them. Interviewers want to know all about you and your capabilities, so share with them those occasions that you have had successes and why. In advance of this testing experience, if you have the time, set out to gain experiences you'll be able to share, for the value they will create for you.

2. Think about the open questions that are coming. Your interviewer will want to discover things about you, so be prepared for those famous six open questions that will no doubt show up. Questions starting with 'Who', What', 'Where', 'Why', 'When' and 'How', not forgetting about my personal favorite, 'Tell me about...'

3. Whatever you've heard, use 'I' a lot in your answers. There's a bit of a movement in some places to try to leave this key word out. trust me, using 'I' is manna to your interviewers ears, helps them a lot and if you don't, they may wonder just what you aren't saying.

4. When asked be quite frugal - at first! It's tempting, especially when you get asked something you know the answer to, to start with a flourish and end, well, sometime in the future. Beware, your interviewer is human and can only absorb so much. If they are any good, they will be lining up a next question on hearing what you have said. So, take your time, give three relevant and good points within a story about the issue and stop. They will follow up and ask more, if they want or need to.

5. Collect your thoughts for a moment. If you find you have a question that requires a little consideration, ask for a few seconds to gather your thoughts and have a little think! It's quite a good tactic to mix those questions where you need to think with those you respond quickly to. Some of the time, taking your time in such circumstances demonstrates confidence (ironically), capability (takes time with decisions), and courage (in the face of an interview, that's excellent!), so be prepared to use a small wait as a positive step and not a weak one!

6. Build a relationship with your interviewer. If you've had the time beforehand (the 'coffee and introductions' session usually gives you the space), chat casually and in a friendly manner with your interviewer and other assessors. Building a relationship so that your interview is more of a conversation is a valuable skill and can be of value all through any assessment center you are involved in, not to say for future opportunities - if you need them!

7. Ask them something too. Using the relationship and your confident approach means that there will be useful times where you can find out more about the role, the conditions and the workplace. It's a good sign if you feel comfortable enough to do this and asking good 'discovery' questions yourself will make you score well too.

8. However it goes, make a friend. Sometimes, the value you can get in a friendly close, at the end of an interview, has unimaginable value. Those moments where you cement a relationship can make all the difference at those times where you don't have an input (like later in the day when they discuss and compare the candidates) - so make the most of any interaction time you have, even at the end of your interview.

9. Treat it like a chat. The more you can get this interaction like a cosy chat over the fence with a neighbor, the better it will be for you. Your interviewer will have a compliant candidate who ticks all the right boxes and you too will find it easier, because you're in your comfort zone. Not to say you relax too much though - there's focused work to be done. By being relaxed you will ensure that what you need to say come all the more easily to you.

10. Get interviews in context. Though there are often other activities in play when you are being assessed, the interview is a vital component. So getting this right will build your confidence for the whole experience - and that will enable you to show off your full potential as well as the skills you can demonstrate already.

There you go - easy steps in generating the result you want from any interview you need to get involved in. The biggest challenge is treating it as a good, fun experience. With these ideas to help you, don't be surprised if it is just that!
About the Author
(c) 2007 "How To Land Your Dream Job". You can have the job of your dreams. It takes application, attention and information to get you there, young or old. There's all you need to help you at Martin Haworth's website, How To Land Your Dream Job
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