Hey sometimes just showing up for the interview is half the battle? When you finally get the call from the recruiter on a job you are very interested in you might be nervous, excited or in a quandary about your interview performance! Nothing like a little pressure to show people what you are made of! When it comes to interviewing for a job you want, how do you prepare?
Do you tend to do a lot of research on the company or position you are interviewing for? Have you been doing “mock” interviews to better prepare your answers to tough interview questions? Is your iPad or Kindle filled with “how to” books on prepping for your best interview? If you are plagued with fear here are some tips on how not to hit the interview panic button:
- Knowing you got in for the interview means you have something of value that someone else wants. Focus on your skills, qualifications and not what you don’t know about the job. If someone asks you a question that does not seem related to the position you are interviewing for, ask the interviewer how much of the job is focused on that specific skill or task? Making sure you know the full job description before you interview will help you prep for the interview questions before they are asked of you.
- Don’t fudge! Scrambling and nervously deflecting the answer to a pointed question does not earn you any points in the interview. If you don’t know the answer, be honest and state that. If you can answer the question by asking another question for more clarification, by all means do that. Whatever you do don’t try to say you “don’t know” or “have never been asked that before,” and of course, “have no experience with that sort of situation.”
- Make sure you have a list of specific examples to point to that demonstrate your qualifications in real life scenarios. It’s not about what you learned in school or ten years ago that matters, but make sure you can point to recent examples of your work that illustrate your capability and experience in handling similar situations.
- Ask questions of the interviewer if given the opportunity. You should come prepared with questions not only about the job, the company but also about the interviewer’s experiences working there or working with the company. Learn as much as you can to better prepare you for the next round of interviews assuming you ace the first one!
When it comes to preparing yourself for the tough questions, your experience, honesty and direct communication skills will help you move to the top of the interview list. Never be afraid you won’t be able to answer a question. If worse comes to worse and you are uncomfortable thinking fast on your feet, ask the interviewer for time to consider your response, “That’s a great question, I’ll need to think about it, may I get back to you with my response?” This also allows for you to follow up again and get a status on the interviews. Never allow yourself to feel boxed in when responding to tough interview questions, even when the answer is not always readily available.
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