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Ten Tips For Job Interview Success

Oct 28, 2007
My nephew-in-law is going for a job interview for a position in his current company but in a different part of the US. In my previous position as Director of Customer Services, I conducted several interviews and also exit interviews. Having experienced some good interviewees' and not so good, I offered to give him some suggestions from my experiences that will help him to be aware of some areas of importance when interviewing.

Here are some areas to be aware for a memorable and successful interview:

1. Dress to impress. How you appear to the person interviewing you is very important. I have interviewed people and told them to dress casual and they still wore a suit. What this action indicated to me is that the person recognized how important the interview was and dressed to impress me.

2. At introduction shake hands firmly (no limp-handed shake), smile, speak clearly, and look each person in the eye. Do not come across as shy--be confident.

3. Be prepared with several copies of your resume, along with references. Do not use the standard resume from MS Office. Be creative and make yours stand out.

4. During questioning about some of your co-workers or supervisor, always speak truthfully but never negatively. Do not tell stories on them but you can say things like "their work ethic was not the same as mine" or "I prefer to perform my duties in a different manner".

5. The same goes for questions about your previous employment. Never speak negatively about a past employer.

6. Know your strengths before you walk in the room. Right now you can probably name some of your greatest strengths but when you walk in the room you may be so nervous you will forget them. Write them down and read and re-read them.

7. Know your weaknesses and describe them as strengths. Pick a weakness that is really a strength. For example, you might say, "One of my weaknesses is that I tend to be impatient with people who are not willing to pull their full weight and give 110%." In this case, your "weakness" may help you get the job.

8. Ask questions. Write down questions you need answered and take them with you.

9. Follow up. Very important to send a follow up email thanking them for the time and interview. One time I did interviews in Columbia, MD, and the person I interviewed bought me a t-shirt and a thank you card to the interview. I was so impressed with the creativeness of this action that I hired this person. Follow up allows you to stand out in a sea of applicants. Be creative in how you do it.

10. Never talk salary unless requested by the interviewer. If they ask what your salary range is, speak more of your experience and what you have to offer. Let them make the first offer. Know the range of compensation for the job you are seeking, make your own realistic determination of what you are worth, and then be prepared to stand your ground.

The most successful interviews are those that the person comes in prepared and shows confidence. A job interview is an important step in the process of winning the career you want so act on it accordingly. No matter if you have interviewed one time or ten, each time is just as important as the other. Learn from your experiences and make each one better than the other.
About the Author
Carole DeJarnatt helps businesses and entrepreneurs utilizing effective coaching and advice for development and implementation of strategies for greater success in their future. Visit the company website, Alliance Advisors, Inc., to exceed your goals.
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