Monday, July 22, 2013

In the Spotlight: Going in for an Interview

Congratulations!  You are looking for a new job and already have an interview lined up.  Has it been a long time since you’ve interviewed for a new position?  Or is this a job you are really excited and enthusiastic about?  How can you prepare and make the most of this opportunity?

Consider the interview process a game… your job is to play by the rules and try to win.  Here are a few suggestions to help you along the way:

•  Make sure to do the simple things, like thanking the people for their time and showing them you are interested in learning more about the company and the employees.

•  Be creative and imaginative in your answers.  While highlighting your past achievements make sure that you show interest in what you do and that you believe in what you are saying.

•  Desperation isn’t an attractive quality.  Try to look for a new job before you desperately need one -– approaching a job search from a position of strength generally yields better results.  If you have no choice and really need that job, have a back-up plan (even if it’s only temporary work) to lessen the stress and think of each interview as free, helpful training for the next one.  When you feel relaxed you are more likely to succeed.

•  Make sure the interview is a dialogue, not a monologue where you are doing all of the talking.  Check periodically to see if the interviewer is interested in more details or would like to move on to another topic.  Be an active listener and don’t interrupt -- this not only buys you some time, but also lets them see you are a good listener and lessens the chance that you will say the wrong thing or make a mistake.

•  Rehearse beforehand to make sure you can clearly describe your past projects, highlighting interesting facts and focusing on your achievements.  Try to show the value that you will add to the company.

•  To make a lasting, visual impression, be ready to draw a diagram or a drawing to illustrate the main bullet points on your resume.   If you can’t remember a project you have listed, or cannot make some sort of diagram to explain it, take it off your resume. 

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