Seldom are jobs offered unless there is an interview between individuals who have hiring authority (or those who advise hiring authorities) and the individual who is being considered for employment. Remember, the key to a successful job interview is to determine whether the job is a right fit for you, and whether you are a right fit for the work and the organization that might wish to employ you.
Here are general tips for job interviews.
Be prepared for a range of questions. Donâ€™t go into an interview cold. Know something about the organization, their products and services, what they might expect from their employees, and how youâ€™d fit in. Also, be prepared for general questions that any employer might ask â€“ strengths, weaknesses, skills, your preferred work environment, greatest achievements, regrets, personal goals, and what others would say about you.
Dress appropriate for the interview. Your appearance should be pleasing but not overdone.
Be on time. If youâ€™re delayed unexpectedly, then call to let them know. You can ill afford to have your first impression be a poor one.
Have a resume. For most jobs, a resume is a plus. For professional jobs, itâ€™s a must. Offer a copy at the beginning of the interview, and resist answering question with, â€œIf you look on my resumeâ€¦.â€ Be prepared to discuss your work experience extemporaneously, by offering details that arenâ€™t found on the resume.
Have questions of your own. Show an interest in the company, itâ€™s operation, and who runs it. Remember, itâ€™s a mutual interest activity, if you donâ€™t have interest in your prospective employer, then theyâ€™ll probably have little or no interest in you.
Hang onto the job that you have. If you donâ€™t have a job when you interview, then your worthiness can be called into question. Rightly so, if no one else will have you, then why should they? You need to appear to a prospective employer as a valuable candidate. Itâ€™s much easier to get a job when you already have one.
Donâ€™t emphasize your current or previous self employment. The self employed can be seen as too self reliant and independent to take direction from others. In another vein, they can be seen as someone who wasnâ€™t successful on their own, and that can be viewed as failure. It can be challenging to win someone over if youâ€™re formerly self employed and now trying to find a job in the same field.
Stay focused mainly on meeting the needs of the prospective employer. If you start out asking questions about pay, retirement, relocation or benefits, then you might be sending signals that the job isnâ€™t quite as important as the compensation package.
Be ready for anything. Sometimes an employer will do odd things to see how a prospective employee will react. Here are some oddball stunts you might be prepared for: an interviewer who doesnâ€™t say anything; a claim (that could be entirely true) that the company is interviewing, but doesnâ€™t have any specific openings they need to fill; refusing to review anything on your resume; situational questions about how you might handle conflicts with customers, managers and co-workers; and, multiple interviewers throwing questions at you left and right.
Be yourself. Donâ€™t try to be anyone except who you are. If you do, the employer might be disappointed in who they hire once they find out who you really are. Besides, youâ€™ll enjoy yourself and have more fun during the interview by simply being you.
Resist talking about pay, even if the employer brings it up. The general rule is the first one to talk about pay loses, so avoid this discussion until youâ€™re sure that you want to be an employee, and theyâ€™re sure they want you to come to work for them. Only then should you enter into discussions about compensation. Using this approach also helps weed out employers who are just looking for cheap help.
Clair Schwan hasnâ€™t interviewed many times, but heâ€™s done quite a bit of interviewing of prospective employees. Being on the hiring side of the equation, heâ€™s pulled a view oddball stunts, and usually hired the individuals who were able to roll with the punches.