How to Pass an Interview Successfully
With the economy in such a bad shape, finding a job is about four times as difficult as it was for people 10 years ago. To be successful in your job search, you'll need to possess the skills or experience that employers are looking for. But even then, that won't guarantee you a position or career with any company. This is because there is also four times as many people out there who are also looking for jobs and who are competing against you for employment. So how do you push yourself to the front of the pack and beat out the competition if you're just as qualified as another applicant? Interviewing skills. The interview for a position in a company is one of the most important aspects of the employment process and it serves as the front door to a company's work force, and your gateway to a better career. Passing an interview successfully can be difficult for those who aren't prepared or experienced, and it can mean the difference between being hired or being skipped for the next person in line. So if you're not already familiar with the interview process or skilled at interviewing, here's a few tips that should help you brush up on your skills.
When you get the call from a company to come in for a formal or informal interview, you should use wise judgment in what to wear. The type of attire you should be dressed in depends on what type of place you will be going to and the atmosphere and type of job you are applying for. If you are applying for a simple mail room job, they may think you are crazy or not mentally sound if you show up in a business suit. On the other hand, if you're applying for a high ranking management position, that might be exactly what is needed to impress those whom you are meeting. You should never wear a t-shirt or jeans to any interview, even if it is for a low paying job such as Mcdonalds or Walmart. If you don't want to overdress, a buttoned up, short sleeve polo shirt and slacks is appropriate for men, and either the same thing or a casual long legged skirt and top are suitable for women.
One of the first things an interviewer will look at when you walk in the room for an interview is your confidence. Do not underestimate the person interviewing, because many of them are trained on how to properly interview a person and what behavior to look for when choosing the right candidate for a job. You should shake the person's hand with a firm grip, though not so firm that you hurt their hand. This helps to convey confidence and shows that you are professional at the same time. After the interview begins, there will usually be a round of questions and answers after you've become a little aquainted with each other. When the person is asking you questions, don't stall when it comes to answering them. Be quick with your responses, as if the answers to the questions come to you naturally. There may be a point during the meeting when they will ask you if you have any questions for them. It's best to not ask to too many, as it may make you look confused or inexperienced in regards to the position you're applying for. But if you don't ask any, then it may look like you're not very interested in the job itself. So it's best to ask one or two questions, preferably ones that will make you look more eager or motivated to the interview, such as asking about overtime or weekend hours, assuming it hasn't already been explained to you.
I once worked for a large company and a friend of mine wanted a job there. So I pressured my supervisor into getting him an interview with one of the top managers there. I knew my buddy was qualified to work there, and I knew they were hiring, but after everything was said and done, they decided not to hire him. The next day, I asked my supervisor if they said anything as to why they decided to pass on him, and he told me that the manager who interviewed him mentioned that he wouldn't look them in the eyes throughout the interview. Eye contact is very important during an interview, and if you can, you should try to keep your eyes warm and friendly, so it looks like you're not hiding anything. People who's eyes stray around the room may look like they have something to hide or just aren't trustworthy people. This is called wandering eyes and most interviewers look for it and often use it as a way to evaluate a candidate. But on the other hand, you should stare so hard at the person in front of you so that it appears you are on drugs or to where it creates an uncomfortable setting.
Body behavior such as enthusiasm in your voice and body movement is just as important as what you do with your eyes. Nobody wants to hire or work around somebody who is always grumpy or unfriendly, so you'll want to convey an image of a friendly person to whoever you are taking an interview with. Make sure to smile and act lively, and try to laugh at appropriate times, for example, if the person you're speaking with tells a joke. A friendly person can help invigorate a work atmosphere and keep other workers in a good mood, so employers will often look for this type of personality when they are hiring. Before you go into an interview, you should do whatever you have to do to prepare for your meeting and relax your nerves. A nervous person can often be misinterpreted as being unfriendly, and this alone can ruin your chances at getting the job. Try to show your human side and steer clear of acting like a robot or emotionless. Managers and supervisors don't like people who act too robotic, because this too can come off as being unfriendly. In between questions and answers, show your human side a little and make conversation, though try not to steer too far away from the actual topics being discussed.
Once the whole process is over, you should make sure to shake hands with the person who interviewed you, and tell them it was enjoyable or that you would glad to meet them and hope to see them again soon. Once you go home, you should follow-up your interview by sending a thank you letter, or if possible, a thank you email. After applying for a job, it's usually best to call them up a few days later and ask if there's been any change in the status of your application. However, after an interview, it's probably not good to call them unless you don't hear back from them in a week or two. If you do decide to make the call, you should just ask them if anybody had called you regarding the position you applied for, and state that you just want to make sure you didn't miss any calls. Just don't call more than once, as that may annoy them.
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