The 7 Elements of a Successful Job Interview
Posted on May 15, 2010
A successful interview is often the key to success in obtaining a contract or job. The decision to hire is based on first impressions, so you want to create the most positive image that you can. Most successful interviews rely on the preparation that was done before the interview itself. Here are some pre-interview tips that can prepare you for the successful interview.
1. Have updated reference material available
A job interview is often done with more than one person, so have extra copies of your resume on hand. Know where the company is located and approximately how much time it will take you to get there. If the position you are applying for requires it, have a briefcase with samples of your work on hand. Make sure that your reference sheet is up to date.
There should be no stains on your outfit, and it should be the first time you’re wearing it after washing. Show that you care about yourself and the company you’re applying to. Get a general idea of what people in similar positions at your new company are wearing and dress like them. Doing this creates the impression that you are a team player. A good pair of slacks and a button-down shirt is appropriate.
3. Don’t smoke or drink before your interview
Cigarettes and alcohol leave distinctive odors on the body. You don’t want to take the chance that the interviewer is a rabid non smoker who can detect cigarette smoke from a mile away. Drinking before the interview gives the impression that you are sloppy and just don’t care about your potential employer.
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Remember that the interviewer is making their judgments on hiring based on the presentation that you make in that interview. They are looking for qualities that best suit their company, and will make their decisions appropriately. Being late to an interview for any reason (barring calamity) creates a negative tone for the rest of the interview. The interviewer’s time is valuable and it is quite important to respect that by being early or on time.
There is a standard set of questions that are used in interviewers. What are your greatest strengths? Describe a situation where you solved a problem. Why should we hire you? Prepare yourself by writing down answers to these questions and memorizing them. Try working with a friend or loved one to see what impression they get from your answers and modify accordingly. Your friends will be honest with you. Practice your interviewing skills to identify and strengthen your weaknesses.
Who are the key players at the company? Who is the major competition? Look for this information on the company’s website and on the web. See what you can find out about the person who’s going to be interviewing you. An interviewer wants someone just as motivated and purposeful as they are when seeking to hire.
7. Know the skills you have to offer
While preparing for the interview and doing practice interviews, you will have the opportunity to discover what your skills are. What unique traits can you offer to the company? Conversely, know your weaknesses and strive to turn them around into strengths and skills. Do you have the advertised skills for the job that you are applying for? Knowing where you stand offers more confidence and improves your chances to get the job.
The success of an interview is determined long before you’re face to face with a potential employer. Preparing and presenting yourself in the best possible light is the key to creating the best first impression and getting the job you’ve dreamed about.