Tips for a great job interview that will land you a job
If you are somebody who has had trouble in job interviews, join the club. Interviewing for a new job is considered one of the most stressful things that we do in life. This makes sense, after all, the livelihood of our families depends on our ability to earn an income right?
It is my opinion that most people approach interviews from the wrong angle. Rather than focussing on how to control a job interview from their end people enter their interviews with a tame, humble, and reverent attitude. None of these things are inherently wrong. The problem is that they are all rooted in fear. Fear that they will mess up, fear that they will appear desperate, fear that they will lose the opportunity, fear that they will fail.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good thing to approach a job interview with a reverent and respectful attitude. Getting the job you want depends a lot on your attitude. The part that people seem to forget is that employment is a mutually beneficial relationship, or at least it's supposed to be. You are bringing a good deal of experience, talent and ability to the table and you need to make your potential employer want you. You are a rare commodity with many options and they should be so lucky as to have you in their organization.
So how can you win in a job interview? In a word: confidence. You need to take control of your interview, and to do that, you need confidence. You may have never heard this advice, because most people don't use it. Most people enter an interview desperate to come out the other side with a job and any employer can see through that. Learn how to control a job interview, and you will have more success. You need to understand that your level of confidence is evident the minute you walk through the door from the look on your face to the quality of your handshake (highly important by the way).
How to control a job interview
1. Dress the part
You want to be in control, so dress the part. Even if you're applying to work at a grocery store, showing up in a suit and tie puts you in a whole different category from the guy who comes in a T-shirt. You can speak up in a suit. The guy in a suit will be taken more seriously and listened to more intently. Wear the suit guys.
2. Be EARLY
Don't be on-time. On-time is expected, early is impressive. By showing up early you are earning yourself extra credit and respect that you will leverage in the interview with the next tip.
3. Tell a joke or two
This is just not in some people's nature, so if you can't tell a joke, I suppose you should skip this section. You want to loosen the mood right off the bat and telling a quick joke about how bad traffic was or the weather will establish you as a person who is not terrified of the situation and opens the door for you to take control in the next step. Jokes can be taken the wrong way, so get a few opinions on the one you plan to use and make sure it's inoffensive and suitable for anybody before you use it. If it seems like the interviewer doesn't get it, just smile and move on. So what? They're the one that's missing out on a good joke!
4. Discuss and ask questions
An interview should not be a one-way conversation, and too many of them happen that way. Yes, the company is interviewing you for a position. HOWEVER, have ever considered that this is your opportunity to interview them as an employer? They may not be the right fit for you, and you need to know that. Make the interview a dialogue. Ask questions, have a list of questions even. Ask the employer questions about benefits for employees, how they deal with sick days and criteria for promotion.
You have already shown them that you're serious by dressing the part and showing up early, you have earned the right to ask your own questions as a serious candidate. In my opinion, it's foolish to even consider walking into a job without knowing how they treat their employees in areas that are important to you. Make sure that they know you're not just looking for any job, you want the right job.
Entering a job interview prepared to ask some questions and to be bold about getting the information you need from them may seem arrogant or rude to some people, but it's not. A good employer will recognize a potential employee that is serious about finding the right fit and know that attitude will likely translate into many years of service. If a potential employer doesn't want to asking questions about the company, then it is safe to assume that they have something to hide. Move on, it's better to take some time and find the right job than to go through several jobs, quitting each one before finding the right fit.
If you are uncomfortable being bold or are unsure of your confidence, practice this with a friend. Make sure you've learned how to control a job interview before you even set the date for one and trust me, you will have a better chance of getting the job and finding an employer that you will be happy with for years to come. And who do you think they will want to hire? The nine guys who sat in the chair and gave yes and no answers and left? Or the guy who took a serious interest, created conversation, and showed that he was a worthwhile potential candidate.
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