Learn How to Nail that Interview and Get that Job!
It can be hard work to find a job. Once you get that interview, you want to be prepared.
If you have been mailing and emailing resumes to every possible employer you can think of, the first time one of those prospective employers calls and asks you to come in for an interview, you will be thrilled. You know that you have broken through a major barrier in your job search. After the initial excitement wears off, you may begin to get nervous. If you have not interviewed in a long time, or this is your very first major job interview, you may wonder what you can do to prepare, and what you can do to increase the chances that you will be hired. Below you will find a few suggestions that will help you put your best foot forward. At the bottom of the page, you will also find an ad for an incredibly helpful book.
HAVE GOOD GROOMING WHEN YOU GO TO THE INTERVIEW
Good grooming does not necessarily mean that you must wear expensive clothing. However, it does mean that what you wear should be clean, ironed, and conservative looking. Wear something a bit nicer than you may wear when you actually start the job. For example, if you expect to be stocking shelves or working outdoors, you still should not show up for the interview dressed in jeans. Men should wear nice slacks and a tucked-in shirt. Women should wear a skirt or nice slacks, with a blouse. Do not wear anything revealing. Hide any tattoos. Do not wear large earrings. Conceal any piercings, other than for one pair of conservative earrings, if you are a woman.
Another aspect of good grooming is simply to be clean. Take a shower before getting dressed for the interview and wear deodorant. You might want to get your hair trimmed, if it has gotten a bit scruffy. Make sure your fingernails are clean and filed. Although you want to smell clean, you should avoid heavy perfumes or aftershaves. They can be too strong for some people, and it could bother your interviewer.
BE PREPARED FOR THE INTERVIEW
Before you go on the interview, compile all the necessary information that you may need if you are offered a job. Make certain that you have your driver's license, social security card, a work permit (if you are a minor), and a copy of your resume. If you haven't written a resume, yet, now is the time to put one together. On it you should list your previous employers, your education, the names and phone numbers of references, and the dates you received any licenses or certificates which might be required to be employed in this position. Even if you know that you will have to complete the company's application, or you already have done so, it is good to have a copy of your resume with you. If they ask you for any of this information, you will have it at your fingertips. You will also feel less nervous and will be less likely to freeze and forget something important. In addition, if you are applying for a position that requires certain skills, such as artistic talent or website design, have printed samples of your work with you. Don't bring the originals, because the interviewer may want to keep the sample of your work to show other people at the company. Finally, bring your own pen. If you are asked to complete a form, you don't want to be embarrassed by having to ask to borrow a pen.
Get organized, by putting all of these items in a folder or small portfolio. You will look much more professional than you would if you went into the interview carrying a stack of loose papers.
LEARN ABOUT THE COMPANY BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
It is essential in today's competitive job market to spend a little bit of time learning about the company where you are interviewing. Read everything you can find about them on their website. Do they brag about how they promote from within? Do they emphasize the amenities that they offer their employees? Find out what products they make or services they offer. If you know anyone who works for the company, ask them to tell you about their experience with the firm. By learning as much as you can in advance, you will not embarrass yourself by asking foolish questions. In addition, mention to the interviewer some of the interesting or appealing facts that you learned about the company during your research. They will be impressed that you took the time to learn about them.
BE PUNCTUAL WHEN YOU GO TO THE INTERVIEW
If possible, do a dry run the day before, by driving or taking the bus to the location where you will be interviewing. Make sure you know how to get there, where to park, and how long it will take you. Then, try to arrive a few minutes early the day of the actual interview. Make sure you have allowed time for the possibility of an accident or other traffic problem. The potential employer will not care why you were late. He'll only know that you were late, and it will not make a good impression.
BE PREPARED TO TALK ABOUT YOURSELF IN AN INTERVIEW
The interviewer is going to ask you to tell a little about yourself. You do not need to make a speech. They do not want to know everything you have done in your life, starting with kindergarten. They just want to get a feeling for your background, and your reasons for wanting this job. If you have worked in this industry in the past, let them know. If you have always had an interest in this type of work, let them know. If you are hoping to stay with the company, and advance within the firm, tell them.
ASK QUESTIONS DURING THE INTERVIEW
At some point in the interview, the employer will probably ask if you have any questions. It's a good idea to come prepared with a few questions that you might ask. However, do NOT ask about the benefits, amount of time you will get off, holidays, vacations, etc., in the first interview. You should ask questions such as: "What would my duties be?" "What is a typical workday like?" "What are you looking for in an employee?" Not only are these the kind of questions which show you have a sincere interest in the position, but they also will help you determine if this will be the right job for you!
BE ENTHUSIASTIC AND POLITE DURING THE INTERVIEW
Smile. Don't interrupt the interviewer. Say "please" and "thank you." All the usual signs of good manners are even more important in a job interview. Act as though you really want the job. Don't forget that the interview actually begins the moment someone calls you from the company to set up the interview. Be polite to the person who makes the call, and be courteous to the receptionist who greets you when you arrive. They will all report rude behavior to the person who interviews you.
HAVE GOOD POSTURE DURING THE INTERVIEW
Sit up straight and do NOT have your arms crossed. This gives the other person the impression that you are closed off, or uninterested in what they are saying. Instead, let your hands rest lightly in your lap or on the arms of the chair.
THANK THE INTERVIEWER AFTER THE INTERVIEW
As soon as possible after leaving the interview, sent the employer a note or email thanking them for the opportunity to interview for this position. You don't know how important this little gesture could be in helping you make a great impression.
Good luck, and hope you find the job of your dreams!
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