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Preparing for a Job Interview

It is completely natural to feel nervous before a job interview but you can minimize pre-
interview jitters with some preparation.  Hopefully you have completed initial research
on the company you applied for before being called in for an interview but you are going
to need to do more.  You will never know exactly what is going to be asked of you
(unless you have an inside source), but you can be ready for the questions by knowing
your stuff.

Look up the company website and study the history, about us page, and the products and
services that are offered.  Even if you are pretty sure you are not going to be quizzed on
how the company came to be, it will give you insight into how the company operates and
their philosophy.  By of these factors should influence how you answer your questions. If
it is obvious they place high value on team players, you should brainstorm situations
when you have displayed this trait. Continue reading


July 30, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Make a Connection

Depending on how popular or sought after the job you are interviewing for is you will
have a lot of competition for a few positions.  A stellar interview is crucial to make you
stand out from the rest of the crowd.  To give yourself an added edge and cement yourself
in your interviewer’s mind, try to make a personal connection with them at some point in
the interview.

A personal connection can take numerous forms.  If you are in the interviewer’s office
and they have a picture of a sailboat on their wall (and you happen to love sailing), make
an appropriate comment that identifies you as a sailor too.  This may not put you above
others more qualified than you but it will help you to stand out amongst those you are in
direct competition with. Continue reading

July 26, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Be Confident in a Job Interview

Who isn’t nervous during a job interview?  Even the most self-assured candidate is going
to have a moment or two of self-doubt.  But the trick is to keep this to yourself and
portray an image of confidence.  This is what a potential employer wants to see if you are
not confident in your own abilities why should they be.  Here are a few ways to exude
confidence. Continue reading

July 22, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Poor Working Relationship with your Boss

It may be the reason you are looking for another job in the first place – you and your
current boss do not work well together.  And good for you for taking charge of the
situation to find something that is a better fit for you.  But how do you approach this
situation so it will not hinder your chances at a new company?  There are a few steps you
should take first and you need to mind what you say during the interview.

A lot of interviews will contain at least one question about your working relationship
with your current boss.  They can take many forms and you should prepare for a lot of
different types of questions that may be asked.  No matter what the question, even if it is
one asking you to describe conflict with your boss, be positive and do not bash anyone in
your answers.

Remove any emotions from the equation and explain the situation using the facts and
highlight all of the professional steps you have taken to rectify the situation.  Don’t try
and make your boss sound like the bad guy, and try to de-emphasize the entire event.  It
may seem like an opportunity to vent about the situation but if you do, your are cutting
off an avenue to escape the working relationship you want to get away from.  Present the
facts, be neutral and highlight your problem-solving skills.

If you are concerned that your current boss will sabotage your efforts to find another job
during the reference check stage you can solve this in a couple of ways.  If your boss is
reasonable and the two of you just don’t work well together, chances are you don’t have
to worry too much.  Be sure to give him or her a heads up though.  If you aren’t
comfortable with this, try and find another manager that you have worked for in the
company previously that you can pass on as a reference.

July 18, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

What to Wear to a Job Interview

Possibly even more stressful than the questions you are going to have to answer, you are
going to have to find the perfect outfit to wear to a job interview.  You want to look
professional and like you are going to fit in with the company.  A good rule of thumb for
men is that you can’t overdress for the interview – shirt and tie or a suit is always a safe
choice.  For women, picking the clothes is more challenging.

For both men and women, pick an outfit that you feel comfortable in and that fits you
properly.  You don’t want pants that are too tight or a shirt that is too snug across the
chest.  It will be a distraction for both you and your interviewer.  Along the same vein,
pick colors that suit you but aren’t too bright or patterns that are overly bold.  You want
the focus to be on your answers, not what you are wearing. Continue reading

July 14, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

How Not to Obsess after a Job Interview

The interview is over and you can’t help but sigh with relief.  You made it through and it
wasn’t as bad as you thought it would (or maybe it was, but hey it was a good
experience).  Now, you might think you are in the clear and all you have to do is wait.
While it is true that waiting is the next step, it is not that easy.  Some even find it more
difficult between the time the interview has been completed to the time they hear back
from the company on whether or not they received the position. Continue reading

July 10, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Know what Your References are Going to Say about You

Before attending an interview, you should have your references lined-up and ready to
provide to the interviewer when asked.  More than just writing down names and phone
numbers of previous employers and bosses, you need to do additional preparation.
Finding out how a former employer views you and your work history with them is vital
before providing that information to a potential employer.  Even if your memory of your
time spent there is positive, you don’t know how you were remembered or what will be
said unless you ask.

Your first step should be to contact everyone that you are considering using as a
reference.  You will want to confirm they are working for the same company and if their
phone number is the same.  If a boss has moved to another company, you can still utilize
them as a reference provided you can track them down. Continue reading

July 6, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Etiquette Rules during Job Interviews

During an interview you need to mind your manners and follow an unspoken code of
etiquette.  This is more than your mom’s “keep your elbows off the table.”  Business
manners are going to be key, an interview is so much more than what you have to say – it
is how you present (or sell) yourself.  If part of the job you are applying for is dealing
with clients or executives from other companies, you can be guaranteed how you act is
part of the decision making process.

Eye contact, you have to be able to maintain eye contact without being uncomfortable.
There are some acceptable ways to do this.  If you are answering a question, it is okay to
glance away when gathering your thoughts but if you are listening to someone keep your
attention focused on them (even if their eyes are wandering).  This shows good manners
and that you care about what they have to say. Continue reading

July 2, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | 1 Comment