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Help! I have a job interview

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WHETHER you are interviewing for the first time or you’ve done quite a few, it’s always a good idea to brush up your interviewing skills on a regular basis. The interview is your opportunity to shine in person, as well as you do on your resumé.{{more}}

The interview begins the moment you step into the reception area while you wait for your interviewer. Chances are the receptionist is evaluating you and you never know how much influence he/she may have with the person interviewing you, so be very polite and act professionally.

Once you are invited into the interview ensure that you greet the interviewer formally, maintain eye contact and give a firm handshake. The interviewer will begin his/her appraisal of you the moment they see you. Have a few points outlined mentally that speak of your strengths, your qualifications for the job, why you want to work for that company and why the company will benefit from having you as an employee.

Do your homework; know something about the company so the interviewer can see you are truly interested in the company. When you are asked the typical question – what are your strengths and weaknesses – highlight those areas that will be relevant to the job. When discussing your weaknesses, make sure you highlight the steps you are currently taking to strengthen those weak areas. If asked what are your plans for the future, think before answering, especially if the position can be used as a stepping stone to advance within the organization.

One of the biggest pitfalls in an interview is the tendency to over explain and get too personal. If you need to explain a gap in your employment history, don’t give the sordid details, especially if you were ill.

There is one part of the interview that you really cannot prepare for and that is a situational interview. Depending on the position, the interviewer may use a likely scenario and ask how you would respond/solve the problem. This is where common sense and on-the-job experience will need to kick in. Make sure you understand what is being asked (use your listening skills), ask for a few moments to think, and then answer to the best of your ability.

Remember, the interview is your chance to make your case and convince the interviewer to hire you. Think positively, talk positively, remember to display good body language and always refer to why you are uniquely qualified for the job and the difference you can make.

Karen Hinds is an international author, speaker and consultant and president of Karen Hinds Seminars….Send comments and suggestions to Karen@KarenHindsSeminars.com…

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.”

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