Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tips for a Successful Interview

Successful Job Interview Tips & Questions

The job interview is your opportunity to stand out.

First impressions are key during a job interview, so it is important to use those first five seconds to look and sound professional.

For the employer, the interview is an opportunity to gather more information about you. An employer wants to know if you will be a good cultural fit for the organization. An interviewer will have a chance to review your personality, work style and what motivates you.

Your primary goal during any job interview is to get a job offer, or at the very least, an additional interview.

Be Prepared for your Job Interview

  • Research the organization before you arrive for your interview. Good sources are the company’s website, annual reports, press releases, social media sites, trade journals and your Kforce staffing specialist.

Prepare for the standard questions an interviewer may ask, but also be prepared to answer the following job interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What has been your most important accomplishment?
  • What are your professional goals?
  • How would your last boss and colleagues describe you?
  • Why do you want to leave your current company?
Try to customize questions for the interviewer and consider asking these suggested job interview questions:

  • How long have you been in your position?
  • What do you like best about your position?
  • What are your expectations for this position?
  • Do you have any concerns about my job qualifications? -- This gives you the opportunity to discuss reasons why you’re qualified.
  • Make sure you have your resume and references available to fill out employment applications.
Be Professional in your Job Interview

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early and allow at least two hours for your interview.
  • Turn off cell phones and electronic devices.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • Keep your personal items in your left hand so you are free to shake hands with your right.
  • Only refer to your interviewer by the name they provided in their introduction.
  • Be polite, alert and relaxed. Maintain eye contact and always remember to smile.
  • Watch your posture and body language as not to distract your interviewer.
  • Don’t be afraid to express your genuine interest about the position, company and its goals. Enthusiasm is the most frequently cited reason for hiring.
  • Project self confidence by speaking positively about your abilities, experience and willingness to acquire new skills.
  • Be honest and sincere, and try to put a positive spin on any negative topics.
  • Dress professionally and conservatively, and consider the following tips:
  • White shirts or dark suits are most appropriate.
  • Avoid loud colors, prints, strong perfumes/cologne or anything else that may be distracting.
  • Practice good personal hygiene.
Clear Communication is Key During Job Interview

  • Listen carefully and provide concise answers.
  • Avoid providing simple “yes” or “no” answers.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for a moment to think about a question or ask the interviewer to clarify.
  • Always speak positively about former employers and experiences.
  • Relate your work experience directly to the needs of the organization and provide examples of past accomplishments that effectively demonstrate your abilities.
  • Save questions about salary, benefits and vacation for discussion after you have received an offer.
Closing the Job Interview

  • Briefly express your strong interest in the company and the position.
  • Thank the interviewer for his or her time.
  • Send a brief thank you note to the interviewer and remind them of your interest in the company.

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