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Tips for a Great Interview

Posted on the 02 December 2011 by Interactive Portfolio @IntPortfolio

Tips for a Great Interview

Now that you’ve finally made the cut, it’s time to start preparing for the interview.  Your prospective employer has already decided that you are qualified, so now it’s time to seal the deal. During this formal meeting, you’ll have an opportunity to personalize your professional story and highlight your skills to show why you are the right person for the job. Detailed below are just a few ways to help ensure that you make the best impressionon your big day.

Preparation is Key

One of the most important things to remember is to be prepared. Bring a fresh copy of your updated resume, because employers often request another copy to share with a colleague or a second interviewer. Likewise, print out mapped directions to the interview location even if you are familiar with the area. You need to make sure that you know exactly where you are going so that you don’t get lost on the day of the interview. Also, be prepared for possible road closures and detours and call ahead for interviews located in high-rise buildings for specific directions to the company’s office. Tardiness is not an option!

Look the Part

Prepare your attire the day before the interview to ensure that everything fits properly and is free from stains or any other distractions.  The advanced selection of your clothing, hairstyle, shoes, etc., is especially important because it helps to reduce concerns regarding your appearance on interview day. Knowing that you look your best will help to increase your confidence, ensuring that you will make the best impression on your prospective employer.

Develop Impact Statements

During the interview, it’s best to focus on impact statements that describe your professional experiences. Remember, this may be your only opportunity to sell yourself so make sure every statement includes measurable contributions which highlight significant accomplishments made in previous positions. For example, if the 30% decrease in delinquent accounts resulted specifically from your account management skills then say so. Employers are not just interested in a job description; they want to know how you directly contributed to the success of the organization.

Research the Company

Interviewers will judge whether you genuinely desire to work for them by analyzing your knowledge of the company. Researching the company and learning their corporate history is a great way to stand out from other candidates. If possible, try to obtain knowledge about the person performing the interview and include casual references to that knowledge, where appropriate, during the conversation. You can get this information through the internet, as well as tapping into your personal professional network. Also, try to find information about the company’s culture as well as the specific position that you are interested in. By demonstrating your knowledge and interest in the interviewer, company, and the position; you are sure to position yourself as a serious candidate who stands out among the competition.

Practice Makes Perfect

Finally, after you have practiced your answers to common interview questions, conduct mock interviews with friends or family members. They need to be objective so that they can help you to point out any potential flaws to give you a truthful appraisal of your performance. If feasible, record the practice session via an audio or video device to review so that you can critique your own performance during practice as well.  Start preparing for the logistics of the actual interview after completing practice sessions. You want to be sure that you are completely prepared and have maximum confidence on interview day.

Getting to the interview stage shows hard work and perseverance. So, maximize the opportunity and secure that new job today.

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