Job Interview? Don’t Forget These Things

Job Interview? Don’t Forget These Things

With everything you need to keep in mind when you interview for a job, some basics you may not even think about can get lost in the shuffle.  You spent a lot of time figuring out what questions they might ask and coming up with answers. That’s the meat of the interview, but what about the bread? Did you check directions to the location in advance? Did you remind yourself to keep eye contact and have a firm handshake?

Here are a few things to remember when your going for job interviews.

Don’t Be Too Early

Timing is everything. Showing up late is worse, but showing up too early demonstrates a difficulty with scheduling and planning appropriately. If you show up really early it signals that you don’t care if your arrival disrupts other things. If you are very early wait near by. Find a coffee shop to pass the time so you can arrive closer to the expected time.

Personal Hygiene

You might be the best applicant, but if there is something unwashed about you, something in your teeth or if your hair is greasy, you can count yourself out of the game. Give yourself a very good once over in the mirror before heading out. Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle free! If you use a mint or some gum to give you fresh breath, make sure it’s gone by the time you arrive at the job interview.

First Impressions

Make sure you look your best when you arrive for the job interview. First impressions last! If you have the chance, spruce up in the washroom before heading into your interview.

Phone Interviews

If you’re conducting your job interview over the phone, make sure to find a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted. The interviewer has much better things to do than listen to you shush your dog.

Online presence

It’s commonplace for interviewers to search your online profiles like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure your privacy settings are what you want them to be so everything others can see is positive and professional.

 

Late Arrival Doesn’t Have to Kill the Interview

Late Arrival Doesn’t Have to Kill the Interview

Lateness happens. Buses don’t come, traffic is awful, trains are slow. It’s not always your fault, but on your way to important meetings like interviews, it can seem that way. Here are some ways to not crash and burn if you’re late to your interview.

Keep your cool

The top tip, as always is, don’t freak out. That’s generally good advice for interviews. No matter what happens, keep your cool. No matter how late you are, remain calm.

Make the call

If you know you won’t make it time, then as soon as you have access to a phone give them a call. Apologize. Tell them what’s going on and let them know when they can expect you. Don’t make excuses. “Sheesh THE 22 BUS, HUH?” Is not going to earn you brownie points.

Take responsibility. Admit it was your mistake and apologize, but don’t go overboard. Life gets in the way all the time. People understand.

Stay confident

It’s important to recover and remain confidant. This is a test to see how you will react if you’re ever late for work – it’s a test to see how you will react under pressure.

Don’t pull into the location, run in and arrive flustered and out of breath. Before you take yourself through those doors take a minute and re-center yourself with a few deep breaths. Remind yourself of exactly why you are a great candidate for this job. Do a quick run though of all the questions and answers you already prepared for this interview. Put a smile on your face.

 

Apologize again briefly at the start of the interview and tell a lame joke if you can. Remind yourself, one day this will be a great story about your introduction to your new job.

So, if you’re running late for an interview don’t break a sweat about it. Act calm and professional, they’ll be impressed by your grace under fire.

Three Questions In Every Job Interview

Three Questions In Every Job Interview

Every job interview is different, but in a way every interview is also the same. There are certain questions you will almost certainly be asked and others that may throw you for a loop. By preparing strong, well thought out answers the ones you know you’ll be asked you’ll feel more confident about taking on the surprises.

 

Tell me about yourself

The interviewer is going to want to know about you, and they’re going to ask about your goals and hobbies. Have something short and to the point planned out to say. It’s hard to summarize yourself in general, and even harder to do on the spot. Come up with interesting examples of things you’ve done/learned that encapsulate the most important things you’d like to get across in the space of a single answer.

 

Walk me through your resume

They might not exactly come right out and ask you to walk them through your resume but they will certainly want clarification and elaboration on what you’ve written. Prepare something, again, quick and to the point to say about each paragraph. Also come up with something a little bit longer about whatever is most impressive. Your most salient selling point.

 

Why do you want this job?

This is where you need to most thoroughly plan out your answer. The other two are about you and your accomplishments, for the most part questions about your past. This one focuses on the future and potential and possibilities. You certainly don’t want to stumble here, so take some time beforehand and figure it out. Don’t ramble or go off on tangents. Explain your thoughts in concise, well thought out detail.

 

Now that you’ve prepared answers to the questions you know they’re going to ask it’s time to prepare for the questions they might ask!

Learn To Convey Your Strengths During the Interview

Learn To Convey Your Strengths During the Interview

There are all kinds of reasons that interviews don’t go well. Sometimes it’s as simple as you weren’t the best candidate for the position. However sometimes you were the best person for the job. You missed out because you were too nervous to present yourself in your best light. Or you weren’t able to convey just how perfect you were to the interviewer.

Let your power shine through

Let’s start with the nervous part. Most of us get nervous in competitive or stressful situations. But there are ways of tricking your body into actually feeling more confident. It’s all about creating a feeling of power and strength within yourself. You can do that with power poses. Striking a pose of power and holding it.

For example, before the interview, stand like Wonder Woman. Feet apart, hands on your hips, chin up. Take up space, breathe in and hold. You will start feeling more confident.

Or stand like a star athlete. Feet apart, arms above your head, fingers spread wide – like you just won the race of your life and hold.

Amy Cutty who has a Ted Talk online about how our body language shapes who we are talks about studies that have demonstrated the benefits of standing like a super hero. Testosterone increases significantly cortisol drops, people feel ready to take on more risks, their pain threshold his higher. They also think more abstractly and are more likely to do well in stressful situations – like job interviews.

 

Move from the general to the specific

While preparing for an interview people will often go online to research the sorts of questions they will be asked. Then they memorize the best way to answer them. The problem with that is they come off sounding rehearsed and mechanical in the interview.

 

The interviewer doesn’t want to hear the perfect answer to a question. They want to hear your answer to the question. That means read how you should answer the question then create an answer based on your experiences and qualifications.

 

Why are you perfect for the position?

You might not get asked this question specifically, but ultimately every question you are asked is working toward answering it. Think about your motivations, your strengths, your values, your personality. Bring those into every answer. Come up with examples from your life and your experiences. Make it personal. The more personal you make it the more confident you’ll sound.

 

You look confident, you sound confident. If you’re a perfect fit for the job, the interviewer will know it.

Not Sure If You Should Apply?

Not Sure If You Should Apply?

 

Sometimes you see a job listing and you are absolutely sure you would be a shoe in for the job. Your qualifications and experiences line up perfectly with the job description. All you have to do is research the company and customize your resume and cover letter to fit this job and send.

 

Not an exact fit

Then there are times when it’s less cut and dry. You don’t have all the qualifications they’re looking for. Your experiences are similar to what they’re looking for, but you can’t go down the list of requirements and put a checkmark beside each one.

 

However, you believe you could do this job. Not just that, you believe you could excel at it. Should you apply anyway? Here are a few things to think about.

 

How do your skills match up?

Read the job description carefully. Imagine what a typical day would involve. What tasks would you be required to perform? How would you interact with other people? Have you done similar things in the past? Will the skills you have enable you to do the job? Could they help bring a new perspective to the position?

 

Do you fit most of the requirements?

The requirements listed for a job are often an ideal set of qualifications and experiences the employer is looking for, but it doesn’t mean every one of them is necessary to fulfill the requirements of the position. If you have the majority of the skills listed, then don’t hesitate to apply. Qualifications can be learned. Potential is inherent in the person.

 

Think about transferable skills

The answers to the above questions will make up the body of your cover letter. Talk about the skills you have and how they can be transferred to help you excel in this role. Use them to help the hiring manager see the benefits of giving you an interview. From there it’s up to you to make the case for your potential in person.

Not All Great Interviews Lead To A Job

Not All Great Interviews Lead To A Job

You did everything right prior to your interview. Your experience and ambitions lined up perfectly with the job. You researched the company. Had pithy things to say about them and about yourself. You came home and told your partner it was just a matter of days before the good news came.

 

And then instead of good news, you got rejected! Everything was so great! You wonder what you could possibly have done better.

 

The sad fact is, not all great interviews lead to a job. Sometimes the situation has nothing to do with you or your qualifications. It’s them not you.

 

A change in the job description

There are times when you have a strong idea about the direction you see for a project. Then once you start working on it you realize things aren’t going to work out as expected and you have to change direction. The same thing can sometimes happen to a company. They put out a posting for a certain job and then something changes and they realize they need to fill a different sort of position altogether.

 

Experiences and qualifications of other candidates

If you felt good about your experiences and qualifications, chances are you were perfectly qualified to do the job. However, you don’t know what other candidates brought to the table. One of them may have experiences that while not directly related to the job, made everyone look at the position from another perspective. Someone’s experience of teaching abroad for a year might give them an up on the communication skills front.

 

They already had someone else in mind

It could be that the company already had someone in mind for the job before ever posting the position. Someone from inside. Or someone who had some sort of association with them. There might also be someone inside the company pulling for a specific candidate.

 

Personality clash

You probably don’t hit it off with every single person you meet. Through no fault of your own it could be that the interviewer simply didn’t get the warm and fuzzies during your interview. If that’s the case it most likely wouldn’t have been a good fit in the long run anyway. You spend too much time at work for personality clashes to be an issue.

 

On the bright side you had a great interview. Bring the confidence of that into your next one.

Accelerate the Hiring Process

Accelerate the Hiring Process

The job hunting process can sometimes go on and on and on, but there are some things you can do to put some gas in that engine.

 

Remember one size does not fit all

If you’ve been on the job hunt for a while you might be tempted to just send out the same cover letter to every position that seems like a possible opportunity. Creating different cover letters doesn’t mean just changing the name of the company. It means researching the company you’re applying to and including specific information about them, and you and them in the cover letter. It means highlighting specific experiences you bring to THIS position. One size actually fits no one well!

 

The same thing goes for your resume. Tailor your experiences to what best match the job you are after. You might want to change the order of your information to best grab the attention of the hiring manager for each job you are applying for.

 

Don’t just throw everything against the wall and see what sticks

Speaking of applying to everything that could possibly be an opportunity – don’t. If you are not suited to the job it’s a waste of your time and the interviewer’s for you to put in an application. Do your homework find jobs that suit your skills, experiences and aspirations and focus your precious energies on those.

 

Don’t forget your keys

As you know, there’s a lot of competition for jobs. Hiring managers read all kinds of resumes for every posting they put out there. By using key words you’ll ensure your resume and cover letter get more than a passing glance. To do this, look at what they wrote in the job description, then reflect their phrasing and words right back at them.

 

Look beyond your resume

Of course, you are going to update your resume with all your current experiences and qualifications. But that’s not the beginning and end of what a potential employer might see. They might check out what you’ve got on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. If you have a website, they will likely look at what you’ve got posted there. Make sure your online presence is as up to date as your resume!