Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Prepare yourself for the face-to-face job interview


Dear Charles,
I am about to embark on the most important interview of my business career and was wondering if you could provide some helpful tips for a successful interview.

Signed,
Shaking In My Boots

Dear Shaking In My Boots,
Congratulations on your upcoming interview. What a great opportunity. While each interview is always different — corporate culture and individual interview style play a big part — below are some tools I have used successfully.

1. Have a professional-looking resumé and bring multiple copies with you.
You may be asked to meet with several people or in front of a group. If this is the case, present each person at the table with a copy of your resumé.

2. Be ready to listen.
Often, when we get nervous, we don’t pay attention to what others are saying. Always focus on the person speaking, listen carefully and let them complete their question or statement. Only then should you respond.

3. When answering questions make sure to give examples.
Never answer a question like “Tell me about your keyboarding skills?” by simply saying, “They’re great.” Instead, demonstrate your skill level with good examples — “I can type 100 words a minute — with no errors. In fact, I used to prepare the management team’s weekly reports. They included confidential subject matter that was for management’s eyes only.”

4. Dress appropriately.
To do so, know the culture of the company you are interviewing for. If you are going to an interview at a conservative mutual fund company, dress in a suit and tie. If you are interviewing for a hip and cool guerrilla-marketing firm, dress in a professional manner that is consistent with the culture of the firm.

Remember, if you dress correctly you will feel comfortable and feeling comfortable will help you to interview successfully!

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