Better Interview

It is exciting to get selected for a job interview, but it can also be very intimidating. In most cases, you travel to an unfamiliar environment to have a tough discussion with individuals whom you have never met. In 30-60 minutes, you will need to convince the hiring manager that you are the most qualified for the job. There are three secrets that many job candidates overlook when they are preparing for a better interview: prepare in advance for the tough questions, be prepared mentally and physically for the interview, and identify experiences that prove your skills.

Prepare in Advance for the Tough Questions

During most job interviews, you will get tough questions that will really put you on the spot. Some examples of these questions are:

• What is your greatest weakness?

• Describe an experience when you failed in your previous job?

• What are qualities that you do not like in coworkers?

Preparing for these tough questions helps you complete a better interview. First, find a list of these questions online. You will need to take time before the interview to carefully plan out responses to the questions. These responses need to answer the question with specific examples that show your strengths. Although this might sound counterintuitive, with a little planning, you can answer any question effectively. As an example, if you are asked what you greatest weakness is, you might answer by explaining how you are too hard on yourself. Afterward, describe a specific experience in which you completed a hard project by pushing yourself beyond your limits. Make sure to identify a true character trait that you have to answer this question because you do not want to be dishonest during a better interview. Make sure to always give a specific experience in a previous job or assignment that shows your strengths to answer questions because interviewers always like a story.

Be Prepared Mentally and Physically for the Interview

When you have a scheduled interview, make sure to give yourself enough time to be prepared both mentally and physically for a better interview. Mental preparation includes planning time to reflect and relax before the interview so that you can have as little anxiety as possible during the interview. Although hiring managers understand that an interview is stressful, you will not present yourself as the most qualified candidate if you look scared or out of your depth. By giving yourself ample time to travel to the interview so that you can be early, you will reduce your overall stress at the interview. In addition, when you take time to prepare yourself to answers the questions that you expect to be asked, you will have additional peace of mind before and during a better interview.

Preparing yourself physically for an interview is important. Do not plan late night studying or outings that will prevent you from getting enough sleep. If the interview is early in the morning, make sure to get up early enough to make yourself look professional during the job interview. Avoid using heavy perfumes or scented deodorants as these can be off-putting to a manager. Select clean, professional clothes and when in doubt, always overdress to create a better interview. Casual shoes or clothing can be a sign to the employer that you do not care enough about the interview. Find a friend or family member that can give you a second opinion of your appearance before the interview. Lastly, make sure to eat sufficiently before the interview so that you are not hungry during the interview. Caring for your physical needs will help you to focus entirely on being the best during an interview.

Identify Experiences That Prove Your Skills

Vague answers during an interview give a hiring manager a vague impression of your ability. A better interview will always have clear examples of experiences that support the answers to all your questions. If you are asked to describe your leadership qualities, you do not want to simply say, “I am hard working, determined, and I work well with people.” Without evidence, these statements will seem hollow. An experience where you exhibited your leadership qualities will be concrete evidence of your leadership skills and will be memorable to the hiring managers.

When you prepare yourself to answer the tough questions, are prepared mentally and physically, and identify experiences that prove your skills during an interview, you will be ready for a better interview.

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