Job interviews are stressful; most of us are not sales people and yet, inorder to secure a job, we have to sell ourselves. Selling our skills issomething we can learn how to do and a key to this is to be proactive.Proactive means to anticipate potential problems and difficulties and much ofthis can be achieved through preparation and organisation. Think about yourselling points and what makes you the best candidate for the job. You need tomatch your skills to the job expectations and to be aware of the philosophy andvision of the company. You must also be prepared for the common mistakes peoplemake in interviews.
Many people believe you should boast and over emphasis your abilities,still others think you should remain composed; they are both wrong. Beassertive not aggressive, find a middle way between boasting and passivity. Theinterviewer has only around thirty minutes to decide if you are the person forthe job. In this time you need to stress your key strengths and relevant pastachievements. At the right moments in the conversation, take the lead and steerthe interview in the direction you want. Ask a question about the job and afterthe interviewer has replied, answer yourself, linking your strengths andachievements. Reflect your qualities back to the job you are applying for.Employers are not so interested that this is a good opportunity for you but,rather, how your competencies are tailor made for their job offer.
Try to put yourself in your interviewer’s shoes and ascertain what he orshe is looking for in a perfect candidate. Interview your interviewer and askwhy he or she enjoys working at the company. This switches the emphasis awayfrom you and gives you a chance to find out more about the workplace. Theability to ask good thoughtful questions shows your motivation to add value tothe company.
First impressions are important, so dress to impress. It is better to betoo smart than too casual. Be likeable and enthusiastic; don’t moan about yourold boss, be positive about this new company. Body language too plays its part;maintain eye contact and give a firm confident handshake. Mirror how theinterviewer sits and don’t cross your arms. Try to find a common ground betweenthe two of you. In order to break the ice the interviewer may ask some trivialquestions about the weather or traffic.
Give more than “yes” or “no” answers but don’t talk for too long either.
In these times of recession, there is even more pressure to succeed. Itcan be difficult to remain calm and confident so plan to arrive at yourinterview 10 to 15 minutes early. This will give you time to relax but rememberto be pleasant and respectful to staff you meet. The interviewer may ask theopinion of everyone who has interacted with you, so don’t make loud mobilephone calls, constantly text or play games. Take the time to review yourmaterials. Everyone feels nervous and self conscious before an interview buttry not to think too much about it. Breathe deeply and think positively,visualise someone you love and take that image with you into the interview.