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Guidelines for Facing Job Interviews

by Neil Kokemuller, studioD

One of the first keys to success when facing a job interview is to think positively. View the interview as an opportunity to sell your abilities to get the job you want. Belief in yourself combined with effective preparation gives you the best chance for a strong interview performance.

Do Your Homework

One of the surest ways to stand out in a job interview is to show a great deal of empathy for the hiring manager's needs. This means that you show a genuine interest in his goals of hiring the right person for a job and answer questions with this in mind. To do this effectively, you must do your pre-interview homework, which includes researching the company's website and going through the job description. Get a sense for what the company does and its culture. Know the role your potential job plays in the bigger picture.

Strategize and Practice

Once you have a sense of the hiring manager's needs, you can begin to develop your game plan. This is where you put together a list of key skills and factors you want to play up during the interview. Go through your skills inventory and identify the three or four you think best align with the employer's needs. Center your conversation on these points. Find someone you trust and practice. Get feedback on the quality of your answers. Fine tune as necessary and get comfortable bringing out your predetermined strengths.

Give Examples

Interviewers get used to hearing candidates throwing out adjectives that describe their abilities for a job. To help seal the deal, contemplate some specific examples you can use to help make your case and to help you stand out from the rest of the interviewees. If detail orientation is a strength, point out techniques or examples of times when you have used precision and accuracy to accomplish something. If you want to point out your customer service skills, lay out one or two of your best examples of giving outstanding service to a customer. A specific instance detailing how you listened well and helped resolve a customer's complaint or problem works well.

Prepare Questions

At some point in the interview, the hiring manager yields the floor to you. Your time to ask questions allows you to learn things about the company and job not easily found during your pre-research. Additionally, it is an opportunity for you to show your strong interest in the position and reconfirm your empathy. You could ask "How would you describe the culture of the department this position falls into?" This question shows your get the bigger picture of the job fitting into the company. Failing to present a few thoughtful questions may lead to the perception that you have indifference toward the job.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

Photo Credits

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