Archive for the 'Preparing for Interviews' Category

Improve Your Interviews through Self Evaluation

The interview is the most important part of the job search process. It can also be the most frightening experience for some people. But, have heart. Effective interviewing techniques can be learned through practice and self-evaluation. To improve your interviewing techniques prepare questions for a self-evaluation and then answer the questions after each interview.

Here are some sample questions. Use these or modify them to fit your job situation.

  1.  Was I dressed appropriately?
  2. Did I have everything with me I needed?
  3. Was I confident about myself?
  4. Did I use a good handshake?
  5. Did I look the interviewer in the eye?
  6. Did I emphasize my best qualities?
  7. What went well?
  8. Was I relaxed, tense, shaking?
  9. Where was I weak?
  10. Did I talk too much?
  11. How did I do, in general?
  12. What can I do to improve?

Study the questions before each interview to remind yourself what is important then answer the questions as soon as possible after the interview. The longer you wait, the more you’ll forget. Jot down the highlights of the interview in the car while still in the parking lot after the interview. The quick notes you make can be expanded later to give you even more information. Better yet, use a tape recorder to answer questions and describe how you feel.

Remember, this is a learning opportunity. Be honest in your evaluations. Don’t be afraid to say so when you goof. But don’t beat yourself over the head if you do poorly. Write down the good and the bad and you’ll remember to do better next time. Without the evaluation and the learning process, a bad interview might be repeated over and over.

It takes practice to learn anything new and most of us don’t interview enough to become expert at it. Practice and self-evaluation are the keys to more successful interviews. Learn from your mistakes and keep applying for jobs. You’ll be better each time you interview until, finally, you’re hired


Getting Prepared for that Interview

Preparing for an interview is as important as the interview itself. Here are a few ideas on how to be ready.

Review job requirements. Draw a vertical line down the cen­ter of a blank page (or, you can do this on your computer). At the top of the left side, write “WHAT THE EMPLOYER WANTS.” On the right side of the paper, put “WHAT I HAVE TO OFFER.” Next, list the key job requirements on the left side and your ability to meet each on the right side.

Know the organization. Before going in for an interview, find out as much as possible about the organi­zation. Start with an Internet search then look for maga­zine articles and books with in­formation about the company at the library.

Review possible ques­tions. Brainstorm questions with a friend and prepare answers which show you understand the job. Anticipate what you will be asked and have an­swers ready. This will make you look better and increase your con­fi­dence during the interview.

Check your mannerisms. In a university study, interviewers de­scribed the people who were of­fered jobs at a job fair as enthusi­astic, confident, smiling, and self-assured. They said the applicants had a firm handshake, had good posture, and were neatly dressed. The interview­ers felt the winning applicants were serious about find­ing a job and ex­pected to get an of­fer.

Negative mannerisms like tap­ping your feet or fingers during an inter­view may be taken as a lack of self-confidence. Nervousness may cause you to tap your pen or jingle your keys or jewelry. Ask a friend to check for body lan­guage that may distract an inter­viewer. Practice doing interviews with friends to learn to control any an­noying ac­tions.

Be enthusiastic. Employers look for people who are enthusias­tic and confident. Those who smile and act as if they can get along with the rest of the staff have an edge over those who don’t. If this doesn’t come nat­u­rally to you, then practice.

Act healthy. Employers also want someone who is going to stay long enough to justify the cost of training and not be absent a lot. Healthy look­ing, healthy talking, self-confi­dent people get picked first.

Try these ideas and be better pre­pared for that next interview.

Sidney W. Frost, B.A., M.S.

The author's job-search advice has appeared in more than forty newspapers and other publications around the country. He has worked as a corporate recruiter in information technology and, as an IT supervisor has reviewed many applications and held many interviews over the years in both the private and public sector. His knowledge of the emotional impact of a job loss comes from his own experience as well as training received to help people who have lost jobs and faced other losses.

Mr. Frost is also the author of the Job Seekers' Attitude Adjustment Guide which is available in paperback and Kindle editions as well as two inspirational novels. See for information. His other blog, The Christian Bookmobile/ talks about reading and writing.

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