The Interview


Prepare
Interview preparation is one of the most important aspects of a successful job search. Before each interview you should research the employer to see how your skills fit with the company. Are you a good fit? Are they a company you'll be satisfied working for? Ask the tough questions now before the interviewer does:
 
1.   What are some things you would like to avoid in a job and why?
2.   What would you say was the most important thing you are looking for in a job and why?
3.   Can you pinpoint any specific things in your past experience that affected your present career objectives?
4.   What kind of things do you feel most confident in doing?
5.   How would you describe yourself as a person?
6.   In your work experience, what have you done that you consider truly creative?
7.   What was your most difficult decision in the past six months?
8.   How do you keep up with what is going on in your industry or profession?
9.   Describe your most significant success and failure over the past two years?
10.   What are you're standards of success in your job?

Source: Indiana University Bloomington Libraries

Be Positive
Nothing derails a potential relationship like insecurity. Thoughts such as "they'll never hire me", "I look terrible", "this interview won't be good" will telegraph to your interviewer and become self-fulfilling. Concentrate on projecting that you will get the job, that you do look sharp and that you're going to excel at the interview.

First Impressions Count
Your interview starts the second you step foot in the door. The first impression you give will be what's remembered and often will determine whether you're asked back for a second interview. Dress conservatively and make sure everything's looks perfect.
Be Enthusiastic
Employers not only want to hire staff who can do the work, but also staff that enjoy what they do and make the workplace a pleasant place to be. In your interview your tone of voice and responses will demonstrate your interest in the position and the enthusiasm you'll bring to work everyday. Make sure this comes forward.

Emphasize your Strengths, Minimize your Weaknesses
The goal of every interview is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate to determine the right person for the job. You should be prepared to not only explain your successes, but also to explain those times when success was elusive. Prepare ahead of time by identifying difficult questions which might be asked and write concise, accurate and straightforward answers. This preparation will prevent you from being caught off-guard and potentially losing the job.
Ask Questions
Remember: not only is the employer interviewing you you should also be interviewing them to determine if the company and the position are right for you. By asking questions you'll leave with a better understanding of the job. In addition, the questions you ask will show your interest in the position and your ability to communicate effectively in stressful situations.
Don't Discuss Money
The moment conversation turns to money you run the risk of being eliminated as a job candidate. The purpose of the interview should be to see if the employer and candidate are a good fit. If the topic comes up, focus on the opportunity and leave the question of compensation for a later time.
Ask for the Job
The interview is almost over and you've decided that you're a good fit for the position and the company. Don't simply thank the interviewer for the opportunity to discuss the position! Instead take a moment to say that you would be a great fit for the position. Ask directly how well they feel you fit and close the conversation by asking what the next step is. Most candidates simply don't express a strong interest in jobs they interview for which leaves an excellent opportunity open for the ones who do.
Take Notes
Nothing is more instructive than experience. After the interview, take a few moments to reflect on the conversation. Make notes about areas that went well, but also identify things that could be improved for your next interview.
Follow Up
In today's hectic, impersonal business culture a simple handwritten note following your interview will leave a strong positive impression with your interviewer. In the note, thank the interviewer for their time, reiterate your interest in the position and reinforce the key strengths you offer. Be brief and make it well written.
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