Improve Your Life by Nailing a Job Interview

With the economy being in the pits, it can be/is frustrating to find a job even to apply for. There have been positive rumblings that the economy is turning around. Need proof? More companies are hiring this January than in recent years. Hiring has to mean to economy is on the up, right?

If you are lucky enough to score an interview, here are ways to make sure that you snag the job.

  • Don not ask about benefits upfront. You should spend your interview convincing the interviewer that you deserve the job. By bringing up the option for benefits (health insurance, 401K, paid time off) it can make the interviewer feel like you are only there for the perks. Save the questions about benefits for your second interview or when you are offered the job.
  • Dress the part. Looks are not everything, but sure mean a lot. Find out what the dress code is and dress one step higher. Know that they work in t-shirts and jeans? Wear nice slacks and a button up to show that you put effort into getting ready. Otherwise you will look like a slob. Dressing the part does not mean you have to shell out a fortune for high end clothes. Wear clothes that are clean, pressed and conservative. You want your qualifications and personality to shine through, not your clothes.
  • What you don’t say is almost as important as what you say. Practice your nonverbal communication. Find that you fidget with your hair? Pin it back so you will not be tempted to fidget which shows a lack of confidence. Good posture and attentiveness shows you are interested in the conversation. Develop a good handshake. Your handshake should not be the claws of death, but should be firm and short.  And please, whatever you do, do not smack or even chew gum during an interview.
  • Don’t stick your foot in your mouth. Reporters and interviewers have a trick: once the interviewee finishes answering a question, he will pause before asking the next one. This will make the interviewee feel like there is more that he is expected to say and will keep talking- usually saying more than he should. Do not fall into this trap. Say what you are going to say, say it eloquently and smile when you are done. Like the famous saying by Abraham Lincoln goes, ” It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
  • Do not trash talk anyone. Interviewers love asking what you did not like at another job. Saying you loved everything makes you a liar, but trashing your former workplace is much, much worse. Never say bad things about a former employer or company. If you are asked this mean questions, be short and only answer about a duty you didn’t enjoy (like cleaning the bathroom).
  • Relax. Interviewing is stressful for all parties. Relax and knock them out. If you are the right fit, you will get the job.

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