Ace That Interview


What are the special considerations to keep in mind when preparing for a job interview?


Confronting nervousness during a job interview is common and natural. Don't be alarmed by your nervousness. By harnessing the energy from overactive nerves, professional speakers and entertainers use nervousness to increase performance and alertness. Anxiety can actually be the spark that leads to one of your most remarkable performances ever. If you find yourself overly nervous, try transferring your stress to the wall by pushing hard on it in the restroom, which will help you refocus your body. This is something many public speakers swear by. In order to replicate the same feeling during the interview, you can clasp the edges of your seat or interlock your fingers. Should you begin to experience anxiety, try taking deep, slow breaths. It is important to remember that the interviewer is likely to be just as nervous as you. Just like you, interviewers are ordinary people who deal with the same personal issues. Imagine the interviewer as if they were your neighbor cutting the grass on a Saturday morning, or going grocery shopping at the store. Attempt to relax. Remind yourself that you are a finalist and have already been seen as qualified for the job. View the interview as a collaborative endeavour, with both parties working together to successfully complete the task of conducting it. To reduce nervousness further, shift your attention away from yourself and onto the interviewer. Remind yourself that you are trying to help the interviewer by providing them with your knowledge and experiences, and that they will benefit from it.

Therefore, it is essential to maintain an appropriate and professional look during a job interview. You only have one chance to make the right first impression. When selecting your outfit for an interview, consider the location to ensure you make a coordinated choice. Wear clothing that is both stylish and conservative in nature. Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to style. Selecting an unsuitable style can sometimes be catastrophic. Wearing a top-quality dark suit, a plain white or pale shirt (no stripes or monograms), and a pure silk tie, men cannot make a wrong fashion choice. Do not adorn yourself with any jewelry other than a wedding band. Shoes should be black and polished to a shine. Be meticulously well-groomed. If you want to look neat and clean, get a hair cut or trim beforehand. Make sure to always be clean-shaven. If you have dark facial hair in the afternoons, bring a shaver. Ensure that your fingernails are clean and filed by grooming them. Women should aim to dress conservatively for an interview, while still having a wide range of appropriate clothing choices. The most appropriate style is usually fashionable, yet conservative. When dressing for the workplace, women should opt for dark solids, pinstripes, or muted plaids, and pair them with white or colored long-sleeve blouses. The mixture of natural and synthetic fibers should be wrinkle-free. Ensure that the length of any skirt you wear is at or just above the knee. It is recommended that women wear hose in neutral or skin tone shades. No high heels should be worn. Accessories should be kept to a minimum. Earrings should be studs (not dangling). Hair should be off the face and pulled back. Choose to bring either a brief case or a purse – not both. In regards to perfume, it is better to use none than to risk offending someone (perfume scent is very personal).

Should you pay your own way on a job interview? Since you are confident of being the right fit for the job, if you are unsuccessful in scheduling an interview, you might offer to pay your way. Some candidates are even willing to work for no pay for 30 days to demonstrate that they are the right fit. If an employer is unwilling to schedule an interview or pay a candidate's interviewing expenses, then it is unlikely that the employer will hire the candidate. Due to the rising costs of relocation and the risk that the candidate (or their family) may not like the area, most employers prefer to find a local or regional candidate. Some employers, consequently, are reluctant to consider candidates from outside of the region. You should not offer to pay your way unless it’s the job of the century. If the employer is unwilling to cover the cost of your airfare, it is likely that they will also not be willing to pay for your relocation. You might suggest a phone interview in order to make sure you deem the investment worthwhile, in the end.

When job interviewing, it is best not to volunteer any information regarding being fired or laid off until after you have had a chance to demonstrate your qualifications and sell yourself at the interview. If confronted, you should not attempt to conceal it. Do not refuse to accept responsibility for any mistakes you may have made. When confronted with a termination, most employers try to get employees to resign. By offering a severance package, the employee is provided with assistance in seeking new employment and is protected against potential lawsuits for wrongful termination. Ensure that your employer agrees to your resignation and puts it in writing. lack of recognition or poor management)
Once you have resigned, you are able to openly discuss why you left the organization (e.g. lack of appreciation or inadequate leadership) without consequence. You were looking for more opportunities to grow and more demanding tasks. It may be wise to tell the new employer that you did have a difference of opinion on how the Comco project should be run if you are concerned that the employer may not support your resignation story once you are gone. Could it be that a management or procedural alteration caused you to depart? Valid explanations could be provided for any number of reasons. If you have been laid off, you should make it known that many other employees have been let go for similar reasons. Layoffs commenced, perhaps as a result of sales dropping. I state that my position being absorbed by other senior personnel was beyond my control. Admit to the error if it was your fault, and state that you believe you have learned from your mistake. Never attempt to blame other people for what happened to you. Show that you comprehend where your mistakes were made and how you will avoid making them in the future. I take full responsibility for my termination. My personal problems have now been straightened out. My supervisor had to cut back due to my frequent lateness at the time. With my poor attendance record, he was given a good reason to terminate me.”
Job Interviewing if You Have No Degree or The Wrong Degree
Most companies will agree that a good education does not mean a good employee. In fact, there is little proof that those with college education achieve more than those without it. Those having a college education should have greater communication skills and a wider knowledge base than those without a degree, but this is not always the case. There are many intelligent and successful people who have not pursued a college degree for a variety of reasons (e.g. entered the work force due to personal reasons or due to lack of financial resources after high school). You can always say that you are willing to pursue a degree if the employer considers it necessary and was willing to finance it. However, you might simply ask what the degree would do for you and the company?

Skills obtained through experience and work are often transferable. Despite a lack of retail management experience, someone who has restaurant or customer management experience has likely developed the same type of skills and is thus capable of managing similar types of customers. Showcase your experience and skills to demonstrate how they are applicable to the new position. It is often simpler to take a successful salesperson from one industry and train them to sell in another than it is to educate someone with limited success, who has experience with the product or industry, to be successful. Sell the skills and qualifications that make you a good hire in order to overcome the employer's concern. It is essential to have the right attitude, a sound education, people skills, a history of positive performance, and the drive to learn the new product line in order to emphasize the importance of these factors.

When job interviewing, it is important to maintain confidentiality in order to uphold the relationship between employer and candidate. In spite of this, there have been numerous cases wherein both candidates and employers become vulnerable. Emphasize the highly confidential nature of your meeting with the recruiter or employer both before and during the encounter. No references should be checked without my prior approval. It might be best to avoid raising unusual eyebrows at work by scheduling the interview after work hours, before work, on the weekend, or at a safe place (e.g. an airport or hotel lobby) that would suggest a chance encounter. You might want to consider taking a vacation or sick day if you must take a day off during the week. Coming to work in a suit and tie when you normally would wear a sports jacket with no tie is the worst mistake you could make. Act and look in an unsuspicious manner.

On a job interview, it is essential to demonstrate these qualities in order to be successful. It is often stated by professional recruitment firms that "chemistry" is likely the strongest factor in determining why one candidate is chosen over another. The fundamental principle is that people prefer those who are similar to themselves. Having good "chemistry" with interviewers is just another way of saying having good people skills. Often, a candidate's "people skills" take precedence over their credentials when it comes to hiring and promotion decisions. Gaining entry into a firm and expediting your promotion through the ranks can be facilitated by being seen as a person who is able to fit into the team. Your career, and the people you interact with on a daily basis, are deserving of your best interpersonal skills. To advance one's career, it is essential to be likable. Form a personality that shows consideration. Be diplomatic and courteous to your colleagues of all ranks. Have a relaxed and open attitude. When interacting with others, take into consideration their perspective, desires, and individual preferences. Focus on what you have in common rather than emphasizing your differences. Adapt to their educational background and professional expertise, and strive to make them feel comfortable. Practice being a good listener. Encourage people to open up. Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" (Pocketbooks, NY) is a good book on developing relationships. mirroring) to build rapport and foster “like-ability.”
By finding similarities and focusing on them, mirroring can be an effective way to build rapport and increase “like-ability.” Examples of topics which may be discussed include methods of doing work, philosophy on projects, personal hobbies, and childhood neighborhoods. Pay attention to the questions, statements and feelings. People like to be listened to more than they like to listen. You can show “like-ability” by summarizing, rephrasing, and playing back what the interviewer says. Everyone enjoys working with an agreeable person. Smiling communicates that you are an agreeable person. One helpful technique is to ask open-ended questions rather than yes-or-no questions. “What are your feelings about…” “What’s your analysis of…” and “Tell me about…” are more inviting than “Don’t you agree that…”. Make a strong effort to remember names. Remembering names of your colleagues and associates (especially if your contact is brief and occasional), reflects your respect. The sweetest sound, it’s been said, is the sound of one’s name on the lips of another person. When trying to recall names, repeat the name of a person when you first meet, and use it at least twice in your initial conversation. Thinking and saying the name (while looking at the person) helps imprint the name/face relationship. Word association can also help you remember names. If Maple Cox is a new acquaintance, try associating her with a fox resting under a maple tree – that is, if Maple has a relaxed personality. Otherwise, you might associate the fox jumping into the maple tree. The sillier or more unusual your image, the more likely you will retain it. Treat your support staff and peers with respect. If you give them encouragement and rewards for a job well done, they will try even harder the next time. Seek your staff’s advice and admit your own limitations. Be specific about your needs, and follow up with a compliment, a thank-you note, or a phone call. Those who help you will be pleased that you recognized and valued their skills. A word of caution: be sincere in your interactions. Don’t use people or flatter them just to grease the wheels of your career. Most people can spot a phony. Self-centered managers often feel stymied in their careers. Why? Because their coworkers throw stumbling blocks in their path. When you’re being considered for promotion, your coworkers will be asked their opinion of your work and character. That’s when any selfishness or insensitivity will come back to haunt you.

When considering a job offer, it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of having an employment contract. Unless they have special circumstances regarding their compensation package, it is generally thought that candidates should not ask for an employment contract. An offer letter, covering a candidate's concerns such as severance pay, can be used for most written agreements. An employment contract can often complicate and delay the hiring process to the point of jeopardizing it. Both parties will be required to give concessions, such as one year's severance pay for three year's non-compete and trade secret confidentiality, only if they receive an equivalent return; this is a consequence of lawyers digging up worst-case scenarios in the contracts. In exchange for candidate reimbursement of relocation costs, some contracts will guarantee certain bonus pay from an employer should the candidate leave before the first 12 months of employment. Often, the dispute concerning details leads both parties to become hostile towards each other. This is not an appropriate way to start an employer/employee relationship. Dealing with them must always be done with great caution, as they are double-edged swords. Include any issues you would like to address in your offer package for an employment contract. Request that severance pay be added to your letter of employment if your goal from an employment contract standpoint is to be entitled to it should you be terminated for anything other than illegal acts or blatant negligence. On average, severance pay is typically offered to managers and executives for four months, ranging between three and twelve months. Expect "golden handcuffs" in return if you want a "golden parachute".

For any large or national employer, drug testing is mandatory during the job interview process. It is lawful. Many of the smaller employers also require it, in fact. Before the interview, ask if the company requires a drug test if you are looking for a job that does not involve taking one. Testing can detect drug use up to a year before the test is administered. It is advisable to inform your employer if you have taken any drugs prior to being tested, and to make it clear that you no longer use the substance. If required, you could offer to be re-tested periodically.

To gain a better understanding of potential candidates, many employers now use psychological and pre-employment testing. The cost of hiring and turnover is also rising. To better evaluate candidates, many of today's employers are turning to psychological and pre-employment testing as a result. Testing of many kinds, including skills, integrity, personality, aptitude, and interests tests, is available. Drug tests, job applications, job interviews, credit and reference checks are all forms of tests which can be taken. Most tests administered at the employer's office are done so by someone in Human Resources, though some require interviews with licensed psychologists. The employer typically submits predetermined profiles for specific job roles for which tests are conducted to compare candidates' personalities and interests. Some tests are conducted to evaluate a candidate's intelligence and to identify any personal issues, such as nonconformity, hostility, or an inability to follow authority, which could be problematic for the employer. Additionally, other qualities may be investigated to determine their potential effect on the job. Taking tests is not a favorite activity for many candidates. By declining to take the test, one is declining to be considered for the position. Is it possible to pass the test? It is possible to beat some tests. To ensure a successful interview, it is essential to do ample research on the company and the job position in order to have a good understanding of how the ideal candidate will respond to the questions. When responding, be sure to be positive and rate yourself higher than you may truly feel in order to display confidence. You should also project an air of happiness and stability. The idea of being tested is not favored by most people. The good news about testing is that candidates should be pleased to work with a firm that is willing to invest both money and time in order to find the most talented and capable people. By testing, a level playing field is created where all candidates are treated equally, thus ensuring standardization. You might try to learn what type of testing is required before interviewing. Inquire as to the relevance of the test to the job.

When preparing for a job interview, it is important to ensure that you can support any claims made on your resume (or in the interview) with quality references. It is essential to gather letters of commendation when you do well on a task in order to have your accomplishment documented. Duplicate your accomplishments, accolades, and letters of recommendation. Previous managers, suppliers, and customers should provide references. Sometimes, employers will consider a personal reference from a recognized leader, in addition to looking at business references. Ensure your references are prepared by contacting them before submitting them to a potential employer. Emphasize the skills that the employer will be looking for to effectively prepare the references.


Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and be the first to be notified on new updates and tips.
Subscription Form