The interview is when employers will get to know your personality, interests, goals, and objectives. You will no longer be a list of skills and experiences on a piece of paper; this is your opportunity to give specific examples and anecdotes and explain how these experiences make you the perfect candidate for the position. It is the perfect time to demonstrate your interest in the position and your knowledge about the company and the industry. This is the time for the employer to find out who you are, so be yourself.
What Employers Are Looking For:
Interviews can be very stressful, but the best way to overcome this is to be prepared and know what employers are looking for:
- Job candidates with a definite idea of their goals, objectives, strengths, and skills.
- Candidates who are knowledgeable about the position they are interviewing for, the company and its products, and the industry overall.
- Candidates who can match their own skills and experiences with the needs of the company.
- Candidates who are confident in themselves and their ability to contribute to the company.
- Candidates who can discuss past experiences and give specific examples that demonstrate their skills and accomplishments.
Another way to decrease the stress of an interview is to prepare beforehand. Review your resume and make sure you know your skills, experiences, goals, interests, accomplishments, and objectives inside and out. You'll be asked a lot of open-ended questions, and you will need to be able to give specific examples and articulate yourself clearly and concisely.
Familiarize yourself with the most common Questions Asked by an Employer. Develop answers to these questions, but do not memorize your answers. Make sure all of your responses are positive and highlight your skills and accomplishments. When asked about difficult or negative experiences, describe those experiences as learning experiences.
During the interview, the employer will not be the only person asking questions; you are expected to ask questions throughout the interview, as well as at the end when the inevitable question is asked: "So, do you have any questions for me?" Always ask questions. If the employer has answered all of your questions already, come up with something else to ask about. Your questions can demonstrate your interest in the position and your knowledge about the company and industry. Keep your entire questions job related.
TIPS FOR INTERVIEW:
Here are a few suggestions on how to approach the interview process:
- Research the company. It is good to become familiar with the organization, the position and the person who may be your boss. Try to match your skills and experience to the position you are seeking.
- Look good. First impressions are lasting, so make it count. Projecting a confident and professional image is essential. Dress professionally, but don't overdo it with jewelry or excessive perfume or cologne.
- Know the location of the interview. Consider driving/ arriving at the location in advance. Rushing around trying to find the facility can add to your nervousness.
- Know your resume. Be prepared to discuss and defend every aspect of your education and career experience.
- Focus more on the interview, less on the job. There's time to evaluate the job and whether you want it after the interviewer has learned about you. For now, your goal is to get invited back for a second interview or an offer. Then you can decide if the job is just what you want.
- Talk about your previous contributions. Prospective employers are interested in knowing how you made a difference in your previous job. In a way, you need to convince the interviewer that you're the answer to the company's needs.
- Look for ways to sell yourself. Seize opportunities to tell the prospective employer how good you are. Be careful not to boast, but speak confidently about your skills.
- Don't overdo it. Choose your words carefully and don't talk too much. Most people only retain 20 percent of what they hear. Select your words, speak clearly and get to the point.
- Avoid fear by visualizing the interview. It's just an interview, not the gallows, so imagine the experience in advance. Try to visualize various things like your clothing, items to bring, physical presentation, eye contact, body language, etc.
- Listen carefully. Pause briefly after each question before you respond to be sure the interviewer has finished speaking. Answer questions directly and concisely. If you don't understand, ask for clarification.
- Bring your questions. You also are interviewing the company, too. Start with questions about the organization and move to career growth, working conditions, etc. Save benefits and compensation for last.
- Write down important data. Get the names and titles of the people with whom you interview. Be sure the spelling is correct, as you may need the information later.
- Don't run away. After the interview, don't just hop up and head down the hall. Try to leave a good final impression by letting the interviewer know you really want the job and that you're ready to move to the next step in the employment process. If that doesn't feel right, simply ask about the next step in the process.
- Obtain resources. Grab an annual report, product information or other data that will give you a better picture of the company and the kind of work you might be doing.
- Don't become invisible. Following the interview there is a way in which you can be contacted, even if you are out of town.