Source: Career Watch Arkansas
Depending on whom you ask, you can receive varying advice when it comes to how to successfully participate in a job interview. While the tips and tricks can change, there are some basic strategies you can always fall back on that can help you show the interviewer that you are a hard-working professional.
Prepare for your interview
Do your research
When scheduling your interview, ask about the interview process, with whom you will be meeting, the approximate duration of your appointment and the address of the interview location. Obtain a contact telephone number for the interviewer in the event you are forced to cancel and reschedule due to an unforeseen emergency the day of your interview.
Study the company’s website, brochures and any other materials you can find. By having as much information as possible about the company and position in advance, you can anticipate questions the employer might ask you in your interview. Be prepared to express your motivation for employment and to relate your career training and education according to what the hiring manager desires in a new hire.
Research for an interview includes preparing to answer questions that might be asked during that interview. There are, of course, endless possibilities as far as what the interviewer might ask you, but below we have compiled a list of common questions you might be asked during an interview.
Common interview questions
- Share a little bit about yourself.
- What are some of your strengths? Weaknesses?
- Why should this company hire you?
- How would your last supervisor describe you?
- Have you ever been fired from a job?
- What type of work do you prefer? Group or individual?
- Why are you leaving your current or prior job?
- How do you like to be supervised?
- Is violating a policy okay, even if it means performing the job?
- Explain any gaps in your work history.
- In five years, where do you see yourself both personally and professionally?
- Tell about a time when you had a disagreement with a coworker or boss.
- What salary range are you seeking?
Find your attitude
Often, employers emphasize attitude over skills, training and experience. Mentally prepare yourself to show your enthusiasm for the job, willingness to learn, spirit of cooperation and respect for the employer.
Rehearse how you will present yourself in a positive, truthful and realistic manner. Because companies have limited information from which to make a hiring decision, do all that you can to convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the job.
The impression you make on an employer with your physical appearance is important. Neat, clean, and conservative is a safe standard for dress and grooming. Wear clean, pressed clothes in neutral colors while avoiding excessive make-up and jewelry. Have your nails and hair neat, clean, and trimmed. Don’t overdo your favorite perfume or cologne. No matter what kind of job you are applying for, look as professional as possible.
If you are still worried you might not be dressed appropriately, check with the human resources department for the company’s dress code.
Enter your interview with confidence
You have done all of your homework and preparation for your interview. How do you impress the interviewer enough to secure the job? Here are some tips:
- Your interview starts when you enter the prospective employer’s parking lot.
- Always be courteous to reception staff.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early.
- Offer a firm, brief handshake.
- Maintain eye contact, and remember to smile.
- Sit up straight on the front part of the chair, ready to answer questions.
- Resist the urge to play with your hair, or something on the table, or to touch your face.
- Avoid fidgeting too much in your seat.
- Avoid too many gestures with your hands.
- Do not cross your arms over your chest.
- Carry a folder with extra copies of your resume.
- Bring a pen or pencil and paper to take notes.
Questions for the interviewer
In most interviews, an interviewer will allow you to ask questions at the end of your meeting. In fact, they expect you to ask some. Being able to ask good questions and to display your knowledge of the company can make all the difference in the world. Consider asking the following:
- How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
- How soon are you looking to fill this position?
- What is the typical career path for this job?
- I feel that I have other skills, such as ______. Would I be able to use them?
- How would you describe a typical day/week in this position?
- What are some of the biggest challenges facing this position, this department, or this organization?
- How long will it take to complete the training process?
- What kind of training and/or professional development programs do you have?
- How would you describe the ideal candidate?
- Do you see opportunities for advancement?
- Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
Using these simple tips, you can gain an advantage over your competitors by performing well during the interview and showing the interviewer that you truly care about the company and will work hard in the position in which you’ve applied.