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More Interview Tips

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MORE TIPS ON INTERVIEWING

From University of Missouri at Columbia Placement Office

 

Interviewing is a skill that can be learned, but like any other skill, it takes determination, care, practice, and coaching.

¨      Be on time. This means ten to fifteen minutes early.

¨      Know the interviewer’s name and how to pronounce it.  You should use Mr. or Ms. unless the interviewer has given you permission to call him by his first name.

¨      Bring a spare copy of your resume in a briefcase or folder.  This demonstrates that you are prepared.  It also gives the interviewer something to make notes on.

¨      Expect to spend some time developing rapport, because personal chemistry is a main ingredient in the hiring process.

¨      Watch your non-verbal communication.  Pay attention to your physical posture.  Maintain appropriate eye contact (don’t stare).  Attempt to be a reasonable distance from the other person, (not too far or too close).

¨      Don’t be embarrassed by nervousness.  Interviewers are human and are probably nervous too.  In fact, nervousness is a good sign -- it shows that you are taking the interview seriously.  Avoid nervous mannerisms such as tapping your fingers, feet, playing with pens, hair, etc.

¨      Don’t exaggerate or lie.  It may come back to haunt you.

¨      Follow the interviewer’s lead.  Don’t try to take over the interview.  Stick to the main subject at hand but don’t dwell too long on one point.  It is better to deal with many questions rather than just one or two in-depth questions, unless that’s where the interview leads.

¨      Be prepared for personal questions, even some inappropriate ones.  Some interviewers may not be aware of what they can ask, legally.  Anticipate how you will handle personal questions without blowing your cool.

¨      Be sure you understand the question.  Feel free to ask for clarification.

¨      Emphasize the positive.  Be frank and honest, but never apologize for lack of experience or weaknesses.  Be self confident but not overconfident or cocky

¨      Emphasize what you can do for the organization.  This means emphasizing your transferable skills.  Employers are concerned most with what you can do for them.  Focus on your ability to learn quickly and easily, communication skills, and interpersonal abilities.

¨      Don’t try to give the “Answer He or She Wants”.  Most employers know a “set answer” when the hear one.

¨      NEVER slight a former employer or co-worker.  If there were problems with previous experiences, try to put your answers in the most positive rather than the negative.  If you slight a former employer, the interviewer may assume that you will someday do the same to him or her.

¨      Try to be as specific as possible.  Never say, “I’ll do anything”!  Take charge of your own life or someone else will take charge of it for you.

¨      Watch your grammar.  Employers are interested in the candidates who can express themselves properly.  Even if you have to slow down and correct yourself – do it!

¨      Prepare to ask questions.  When asked for comments or questions, have some ready, this shows that you are prepared and interested.

¨      Be careful with the closing.  If you are not good at closing conversations, don’t linger.  End quickly and courteously.

¨       BE YOURSELF!!  You don’t want to get hired on the basis of something you are not.  You want to be hired for who you are: YOU.

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