Acing the Job Interview: Present Yourself Well and Answer Questions Like a Pro

When you get that job interview, you have to give the perfect interview if you want it to turn into a job offer. Keep the following considerations in mind so that you are sure to present yourself and answer interview questions in a manner that’s both professional and engaging.

Be Better Than On Time

Everyone knows to be on time, but your goal should be to arrive fifteen minutes early. This gives you time to settle down, cool down if need be, and get mentally prepared for the interview to come. If you haven’t visited the location before, also consider doing a drive by a day or two ahead of time to learn where it is and where you can park.

Turn Your Cell Phone OFF

You might think to turn your phone to silent, but when you do you still run the risk that your phone will vibrate, or something else will be activated such as a pre-set alarm. Avoid all risk and actually turn the phone OFF during the interview.

Bring Copies of Your Resume

You can’t always count on your interviewer having your resume in front of him, and if your interview goes well you may find yourself being introduced to others in the office for a conversation. Always have extra copies of your resume just in case. You will show that you’re responsible, conscientious, and motivated. Recently I was on the other side of this equation I was interviewing job candidates and realized I didn’t have their resumes on my desk. Those who were able to present a fresh copy on the spot impressed me as dependable and well prepared.

The Rambling Reply

If you tend to ramble on when you’re nervous, you’re not alone. Babbling is a common reaction in a nerve-wracking interview situation, especially when your interviewer sits quietly while you speak. The trick is to be aware of the length of your answers. Be sure that you’ve answered a question thoroughly, and once that’s done, simply stop.

Slow and Steady Wins the Job Race

Resisting the urge to rush can be difficult, but remember that’s it’s essential that your interviewer be able to understand what you say to them. Speaking slowly and clearly and being consciously aware of proper grammar will really help you come across as intelligent and capable.

Nothing But the Facts

One of the hardest questions for any interviewee to answer is the famous, “what are your greatest strengths?” Saying that you’re good at your job isn’t a bad response, but backing it up with specifics can transform it into an excellent answer. For example, did sales rise under your leadership or with your contribution? Did you find a way to solve a problem for your company? Whenever possible, tailor these examples to the specific needs of the company to which you’re applying.

Two Birds, One Stone

One to two days after the interview, send a brief but polite note thanking your interviewer for meeting with you and for their consideration. Not only is this a courteous and professional thing to do, it keeps your name fresh in their mind.

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