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Tips for Acing Your Next Job Interview

Sep 6, 2007
Most people feel pretty pressured when they're interviewing for a job. You know, sweaty palms, increased heart rate, an elevated desire to curse. It happens to all of us at one point or another. However, there are some tips that you can follow to help you get through the interview at least appearing to be calm and collected. Here are some great job interview tips.

Before the interview rehearse, repeat, and rehearse again. Managers and senior managers who do the interviewing for positions can ask some pretty tough questions. You want to be able to handle those questions without a sweat. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to role play with. They can ask some of the more challenging questions, and you can practice answering them until you've come up with an answer that will pleasantly surprise your interviewer. Some of the toughest questions an interviewer can ask are:

- What are your weaknesses?

- What are your strengths?

- What are you trying to overcome?

- Where do you see yourself in five years?

Tell short and interesting stories that make points. You don't have to be extremely witty to come up with a great story that proves or conveys a point. You can use these stories along with the questions above. For example, if the interviewer asks you, "what are your weaknesses", give him a great story that makes your weakness seem more like a great character trait. A great one would be something like, "I worked for a company a few years ago, and found that many of my employees were giving less than 100% to their jobs. I was left with a lot of slack to pick up. My weakness with this kind of situation is that I expect other employees to give as much as I give to my career. I went along for quite some time doing the things that they neglected, or picking up after their negligent messes. I tried to hint, coerce, and all but force them to do better jobs, and then I realized that not everyone is like me. People are all different. I simply stopped trying to make them do something they were never going to do. Howeveer, I also stopped cleaning up their messes. I know now that I can't do everyone else's job, and at the end of the day, if I'm satisfied with my job, that's enough."

Let it be known that you are interviewing the interviewer. You don't want to come across sounding like an arrogant jerk, but you also don't want to sound desperate. You want the interviewer to understand that you have other options, and you will only be accepting this job if your expectations are met. A great way to say this without sounding arrogant is, "I think that this is an acceptable salary, if there are opportunities to advance within the company." Stick to your original expectations of pay, and don't budge unless better benefits come with a decreased pay, or other perks are added. You know what you're worth.

The best tip of all is to be who you are. If you are a funny person, with a great sense of humor, let it show. Of course you should be professional, but you don't have to be a stick in the mud. 55% of the time, someone is hired because the interviewer liked them. Be yourself, and use these tips and ideas to get through the interview and come out in one piece.
About the Author
Michael Murray is an author of career articles and owner of Cover Letters Report, a site all about writing a cover letter.
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