Whether you are new to job hunting, or you’re a seasoned veteran, no one likes to be interviewed. The anticipation of being judged by complete strangers gives many of us clammy hands at the worst moment – when we’re shaking hands with our interviewers. We have all been there, but with a few interview tricks, you can turn a failed interview in to a successful one.

Before even getting to the interview step, you probably have to fill out an application and submit a resume. Know what is on your resume. In the interview, you might be asked about the qualifications, experience, skills, and education you list. Do not inflate your resume, and make sure your resume is written for the specific job you are applying for. Focusing on your transferable skills opens opportunity to work in a field that is very different, but requires the same base skills.

Professional Dress

Study the job description for the position you applied for. You’re probably going to be asked about it in the interview. Make sure you are able to do everything the job description describes, and be able to explain how you possess those skills in the interview. This shows you not only want the job and have taken the time to prepare for the interview. If you’re asked about the job description, and you try and wing your answer because you can’t recall the specifics, you are going to appear incompetent or irresponsible.    

There are dozens of free websites employers use to prepare their interview questions. Search for interview questions specific to the job you applied for and begin researching questions you might be asked. Come up with answers to potential questions, and practice responding to the questions out loud.

You need to dress appropriately for your interview. For men, a clean and wrinkle-free suit and tie is the expectation for most employers. If you don’t have a complete suit, at the minimum wear slacks with a button up shirt and tie. Women should wear nice slacks and a blouse or sweater. DO NOT wear jeans and a T-shirt, no matter how nice or stylish you think you are – or how casual the job. You will most likely be turned away for dressing inappropriately. 

Shake Hands

Before you meet your interviewers, wipe your hands discreetly on your pants. No one likes a clammy handshake. Shake everyone’s hand in the room, and introduce yourself to everyone. Don’t assume everyone will already know who you are. When you eventually sit down and begin answering questions, speak clearly, loud enough for everyone to hear, and make eye contact with the person who asked you the question. Show confidence in all your answers and do not guess if you don’t know the answer.  Keep your answers short and to the point, answer the questions but don’t open your answer up to be scrutinized. You may end up digging yourself a hole that you can’t get out of. 

The first and last question will usually be similar, and should be answered similarly as well. The first question is generally an ice breaker, “thank you for joining us today, please tell us about yourself”, or something to that affect. The ending question is usually, “is there anything else you would like to add?” No one wants to hear about what sport you played in high school or your GPA. A simple trick is to come up with the 10 best qualities or accomplishments you have that are specific to the job you want your interviewer to know. Now, narrow it down to your 3 best, and design an opening and closing statement around those 3 qualities or accomplishments. Practice your opening and closing answers frequently. Remember the opening question sets the pace for the interview, and the closing question is how the interviewers will remember you.

Afraid to Interview

You may have had a rough interview, maybe you answered some questions wrong, or were incredibly nervous. A strong closing statement can reverse some of the damage, and set you up for a 2nd interview or even a job offer. Remember to practice, if you are going to come up with predetermined answers to potential interview questions, your answers need to sound natural, as if you were saying them for the first time in the interview.

Remember to make sure you know what you are talking about, say it confidently, dress appropriately, act like an adult, and you will give the interviewers something to remember you by.

Interview Tricks

How To Answer Interview Questions (II)
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What every Job Candidate Should Know

What I Wish EVERY Job Candidate Knew: 15 Minutes to a Better Interview
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