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Your success is our success, and we are here to help. It never hurts to get a little advice, especially from experienced folks who are interested only in helping you acquire the right position.

Tips For a Successful Interview

Be prepared

This is probably obvious, but important. Before you go into your interview, do a little prep work. Go over the potential interview questions in your mind and possibly with someone if you can. Make sure you have the proper directions to the interview and leave yourself more than enough time to get there. The last thing you ever want to do is be late for a job interview. Also, bring several copies of your resume with you.

Be confident

An employer wants someone who is confident and who has good self-esteem. The best way to communicate this is with positive eye contact. Always make eye contact when you first meet the interviewer and shake hands, as well as while talking and listening. Another way to show confidence is in your speech. Talk clearly and at a normal pace. Showing enthusiasm is great, but do so calmly and with a lot of smiling.

Know the company

Before you go into the interview, do a little homework. Visit the businesses’ website, read any recent press releases or other articles. You want to demonstrate that you are proactive about the job and the company. This can set you apart from other prospects. Also, it’s important to ask questions as well as answer them. Asking intelligent questions about the company will clearly show that you’ve done research.

Know your stuff

Take the time to really know your resume inside and out. The odds are that the interviewer is meeting you for the first time and has many interviews, so they’ll ask a lot of questions about your skills. Give clear and detailed answers. If they ask what you learned from a particular job, have a few ready answers that can be backed with examples based on actual circumstances. It is very important to be prepared.

Your Resume Speaks Volumes

It’s critical to your job hunting success to take the writing of your resume seriously. Your resume is the first thing a potential employer sees and therefore, it’s the first impression they will have of you.

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Employment History

One thing that every potential hiring executive looks for in a resume is the candidate’s employment history. They want to know who you’ve worked for and for how long. When an employer looks at the employment history, they’re looking for certain items that will stand out for them and make you look good. These items include:

Provide a brief history of any work or projects you have done that is related to the job you’re applying for now.

The length of time you worked for each company. The longer the better. Many jobs with short terms are a big red flag.

A list of qualifications and tasks performed that is, once again, related to what they want you to do for them.

A solid blend of skills and stability that will benefit them. Remember, in the end, they’re hiring you to fulfill their needs, not yours.

Write it from Their Perspective

When you’re writing your resume, do so from the standpoint of the employer. Give them what they want, not necessarily what you want. In other words, from your personal statement to your work history to your education to any mention of special skills or achievements, write it in a way that sells. Yes, we’ve used a dirty word, but selling is key. Sell them on you and that you are the right person, the best person, for this job. Learn how to sell yourself, how to meet and exceed their needs and you’ll find that your level of job acquisition success will be much improved.

The Most Important Step

If you have gotten to the point where a prospective employer is requesting an interview, you can congratulate yourself on beating out at least 90% of your competition. In today’s economy, getting an interview is almost as difficult as landing a job was twenty years ago.

Interview Prep Q and A

Q: Tell me about yourself

While it’s true that the interviewer does want to know something about your interests, your religion, your marriage, etc. try to keep these details superficial and brief. Most people see their personal lives as very important, and so the interviewer wants to get a basic feel of that, but you must be careful not to go into too much detail. After all, they really want to know about your skills and how they apply to the job at hand.

Q: What are your strengths?

This is a great time to express how your experience and skills match the job. You must be specific, but it’s also important to be succinct. Don’t spend an hour on this. Give solid brief answers backed by examples that demonstrate how you will serve them. It’s a good idea to write out several of these beforehand so you can have a quick and ready response.

Q: What are your weaknesses?

Mature people tend to have at least some understanding of their weaknesses. Which is why most interviewers ask such a question. They want to know if you will admit that you have weaknesses, and if so, how do you manage those? Is the weakness too strong to allow you to be successful in the job you seek? Therefore, you must know in advance how you will answer this question. For example, many hard workers are accused of working too many hours. Sometimes it’s the workload or it could just be a matter of poor time-management. So if you say you are accused of being a “workaholic,” temper that answer by admitting you do work hard, but that you always maintain a reasonable workload for you and your team and don’t get behind in your work. Admit one or two weaknesses, but express how your results don’t suffer because of them.

Q: Describe your management style

If the position you’re applying for is management-based, illustrate if your style is hands-on, analysis-based and if you delegate and verify results. Be specific and describe your abilities and success when you delegate, motivational strategies and how your smart analysis guides your activity. Be brief but detailed.

Q: Where do you want to be in 5 years?

This is an interesting one, because many people feel it’s a trick question. It’s perfectly okay to be ambitious, just be respectful about it. Instead of saying, “I want to run this place.” You might say, “I want to be a better (your job) and earn promotions in this company through my skills, hard work and my ability to demonstrate how I can benefit the entire organization.”

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