Interview Tips & Techniques – Be Ready to Ace the Job Interview

In today’s job market, you need every advantage you can get.  That means learning the interview tips and techniques that will help you stand out in a positive light versus your competition.

Let’s review some quick tips that will make you shine during the interview:

Prior to the Interview

Before you even leave home, you need to do your homework – you must thoroughly research the company where you are applying.  You should be able to speak with confidence about the company, what they do and more important is how you see yourself adding value to it.  You should make a list of questions that you can ask the interviewer about the company to demonstrate your interest.

In addition, other interview techniques that you should use include:

  • Verifying the location and time of the interview – get a map online to ensure you have proper directions including anything you need to know once on site, like checking in with security first in some cases.
  • Arriving 10-15 minutes early – it’s always better to assume there will be more traffic  than expected or in case you get lost.
  • Dressing appropriately, when in doubt, it is better to dress too conservatively than too casual.
  • Limiting your use of perfume or cologne.
  • Good personal hygiene like brushing your teeth, not smoking right before the interview and spitting out your gum before entering the building.
  • Using the restroom beforehand in case the interview runs long as well as washing your hands.

At the Interview

Once you actually arrive at the interview site, it is time to focus on what you came to do.  Turn off your cell phone so you won’t be distracted by text messages or incoming calls – vibrate isn’t good enough here since that can still be heard during the interview and can be very distracting.

Good interview techniques mean that you are completely professional for the entire time you are at the company.  This means treating the receptionist the same way you would the CEO – their attitude toward the overall impression will sometimes have a direct impact on your chances of getting hired since they often speak to the interviewer before you do.

Keep in mind that you have only a few minutes to make a great first impression.  If you spoke over the phone prior to the in-person interview they may have develop preconceived notions of who you are giving you even less time to meet or exceed those expectations.

Remember these interview techniques:

  • Shake hands and make eye contact with everyone.  Grasp others’ hands firmly but do not squeeze too hard.
  • Avoid using slang in your speech, practice your responses at home or with a friend if you are worried about this coming out accidentally.
  • Speak clearly but not too loud.
  • Keep your answers brief and to the point.  Avoid rambling or monopolizing the discussion.
  • Look at others when they speak to you.
  • Ask questions as appropriate, especially if you are not clear on what the job entails.
  • Looking at your watch or the clock gives a bad impression.
  • Remain positive and avoid negative statements.  Also, matching their style of speech will sometimes help you connect more.  Developing rapport is of great importance.
  • Don’t bring up the compensation or benefits unless asked.  Be careful how you answer open ended questions on what compensation you are looking for – play all your cards carefully with this subject.

After the Interview

Your interview doesn’t end when you walk out the front door, there are a few things that can make a difference no matter how you feel you did during the interview itself.  Before leaving the interview site, make sure you get the proper spelling of everyone’s names who were at the interview.  Better yet, obtain their business cards if possible.

Then, use these interview techniques to make yourself memorable:

  • Send a thank you note within 24 hours to everyone who was part of the interview.
  • Also, send a thank you note to the receptionist or anyone else who was helpful to you.
  • Write down everything about the interview when you get home.  Review both the positive and negative to help you prepare for follow-up interviews with them OR your next interview elsewhere.
  • If you are not contacted within a week and were not given a specific timeframe for the decision, follow-up with a phone call or letter.
  • Be understanding if you are not selected for the job.  You never know when the interviewer might be in the position to offer you a different position or the candidate selected changes their mind.

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