How To Score At The Job Interview
How do you conduct a good job interview? Oh let me count the ways. Many writers have different opinions about how to conduct a good interview, including Susan P. Joyce’s article, Very, Very Nervous about an Interview? How to Overcome Those Nerves? After reading the article, I noticed that she doesn’t address how to select the right job. Secondly, she just gives you a long laundry list of things to ask and to look for during your interview. All of those things are important, but selecting the right job is more important.
I have to reflect on my own experience at job interviews. Like other job seekers, I have been on many interviews. Even people who appear to always do well on a job interview are nervous. The first thing you need to know is that practice makes perfect. The more interviews you do the more you know of what the interviewer expects of you. However, be aware of the common questions that interviewers will ask.
Common Interview Questions
1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
2. Why should we hire you?
3. Tell me about you past job experiences?
4. Do you know anything about the position?
Rule #1: Find The Best Job
Many of the online articles about successful jobs interviews fail to mention one important thing. Always apply for a job in which you meet a least 75 percent of the minimum qualifications. One the best advice that I received from one of my former supervisors is this. “When you apply for a job, you need to know half-way what to do before applying for the job, and you learn the rest after you get the job.” I know that some people are willing to take any job, and for some people that is best solution until he or she can find a better job. Afterall, we are just starting to come out of a recession. However, if you are not in that situation, the first thing you should do is review the job description. Surprisingly, I have gone to job interviews in which the job description didn’t match the job duties.
Rule #2: Research, Research, Research
Secondly, research the agency before applying for a job. My grandmother use to tell me that not all money is good money. A job description with a large salary will require more responsibilities, which could mean more pain. You have to determine whether or not you want to be put in that situation. Furthermore, you need to determine your options. Sometimes it is best to stay where you are in order to get more job experience and gain more opportunities to network, regardless of your current pay. Some jobs offer good salaries but no opportunity for upper mobility. This is especially important when considering jobs in another state. A lot of positions in other states have larger salaries to reflect the cost of living, so be aware that your take-home pay may be exactly the same in New York if you secure a $100,000 salary when compared with a $60,000 salary in a small town.
If you are trying to relocate to another state, research the current housing market, rent, and tax rates. Yes, tax rates. For example, Atlanta attracts many employees because the salaries for most professional jobs make their cost of living more affordable for blue collar workers. This is not true for jobs in state such as New York.
Time for The The Interview!
After determining your options and determining if you qualify for the position, apply for the job. Applying for jobs in which the minimum requirements match your skill set, will decrease some of your nervousness when you go to your job interview. You feel more confident, and you will be able to focus more on preparing for the interview. In other words, you can start paying attention suggestions in articles similar to Susan Joyce’s article.
Always remember to dress according to the organizational environment. Many employers seek individuals who will “fit” within the organization, despite qualifications. This also a great opportunity to observe the office environment. If you see people who are stressed and unhappy, than you might want to think twice about the position. Also pay attention to the interviewer’s body language and how he or she ask questions. You can tell whether or not the interviewer is really interviewing you. But always remember that the interviewer has someone in mind for the position before you go to the interview. Don’t get discouraged. It is a part of life. Your job is to outshine your competition.
You may not get the job. Just keep in mind that this only one of many job interviews. People make the mistake of only applying for one job at a time. If you are really looking for a job, apply for as many jobs as you can. The one job you least expect may be the job that is perfect for you.
- Heather Browning, MBA, BA
Joyce, Susan P., (23 April 2012). Very, Very, Nervous about an Interview? How to Overcome Those Nerves? Retrieved January 26, 2015.
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