A Job Interview Doesn’t Have to Be Nerve-Racking

A Job Interview doesn't have to be nerve-racking

View the job interview as a conversation to market yourself

How to Ace The Job Interview

Job Interviews 101:

You have sent your resume and cover letter, and you have been asked to come for a job interview – now what?

Preparation is the key to making a good impression quickly.  Arrive early, and dress appropriately for the position you are applying for.  It is a safe bet to dress conservatively and business-like.  Your appearance is one of the ways to market yourself to the employer.

Bring a copy of your resume to the interview, so you have the dates of your work experience at your fingertips.  Also, bring a copy of your references, in case the employer asks for them.

While an interview can be nerve-racking, it is only a conversation, albeit one that you must prepare for.  A tough question, such as: “what is your greatest weakness”? can be answered honestly, but try to turn it into a positive.  For example, you can say that you are a perfectionist, but you have learned that your best work is good enough.

Let the employer lead the discussion, and don’t talk too much. Tell the employer why you want to work for his or her company, and a little bit about your background and achievements and your future goals.  Research the company beforehand to establish some common ground, and prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer, if time permits.

By listening to the interviewer, and observing the work environment, you will gain clues about why you want to work for the company, or in some cases, why the company wouldn’t be a good fit for you. You are interviewing them in a way too.

At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for his or her time.  You may either be contacted for a second interview, or you might not be contacted at all, or, you may be offered the job on the spot.  Decide ahead of time when you are available to start.  It is a courtesy to give your present employer two weeks notice, but you can negotiate employment start date depending on the circumstances.  You can send an email or thank you card after the interview expressing how you enjoyed meeting the person and that you look forward to hearing from them soon.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncngpao/9673058279/”>North Carolina National Guard</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>