Appearing for a job interview can be very intimidating especially if this is your first time. You are meeting a stranger or a few strangers who by virtue of being on the other side of the table have the upper hand. You literally have to present yourself to them. You have to make a good first impression without trying too hard. You have to show your past accomplishments without being too aggressive, too pushy or too desperate.
By preparing yourself for a job interview, you will give yourself a positive image and a competitive edge. Here are four quick steps to prepare for your next job interview.
Practice Greeting With Positive Attitude
Greeting seems to be simple. Just say “Hi” and shake your hands. But, if you want to land a job, you better learn how to greet and shake hands properly. The best strategy to enter your interview room is to maintain a positive attitude and a friendly smile. In Eastern culture, it may be rude to look into others’ eyes. However, in Western culture, direct eye contact conveys confidence and acknowledgement.
Extend your hand and have a nice firm handshake. Not a hard squeeze on the other person’s hand because it will make the other person feel uncomfortable and awkward. The general rule is to shake hands with a matching level of energy. If your interviewer has high energy, you can shake a little firmer and longer than usual. If your interviewer has low energy, you just have a nice smooth handshake.
Highlight Your Matching Skill Sets
Discuss your past work experience or relevant skills that you can apply to this job. Show the interviewer that you are more than your resume on paper. Provide specific examples on how you achieved something in the past job. Give new ideas on how you can help this company to increase performance or productivity.
Separate Yourself from the Pack
Differentiate yourself with unique knowledge, experience and skills. Avoid some common slangs and inappropriate expressions such as huh, um, sigh, ah, wow and the likes. You should speak intelligently and you write skilfully. When the interviewer asks a question, answer that question. Don’t beat around the bush. Be open, honest and straight-forward. Don’t talk non-stop, and don’t keep silent for minutes. If you don’t have an answer for a technical question, don’t make up facts and figures to support your points. Tell him that you would love to have an opportunity to find out the answers.
Ask Intelligent Questions That Are Relevant
Please do not ask silly questions such as the following. Does your company pay for my parking or bus fare? How many vacation days do I get per year? Do you pay for health and dental care? How about day care for my kids? These questions should be things that you will manage after the employer is giving you a job offer. If you want that job, find a way to make it work.
Instead, ask intelligent questions that are relevant within 3 months. For example, what are your top priority projects in the next 3 months? Who are the competitors in the marketplace? What is your company’s unique proposition in the market? Are you planning to expand online or globally? These questions show that you are concerned about the company’s future plans and you want to be a part of the company growth.
Never say anything negative about past experiences. Understand your own strength and weaknesses. Always speak in a positive tone of voice. Choose your words wisely in the interview if you truly want that job for long-term. Companies love to hire people with a positive attitude.