10 Rules of Interviewing

on 6:02 AM

10 Rules of Interviewing
Before stepping into an interview, be sure to practice, practice, practice. A job seeker going to a job without preparing is like an actor performing on opening night without rehearsing.
To help with the interview process, keep the following ten rules in mind:
1. Keep your answers brief and concise
Unless asked to give more detail, limit your answers to two to three minutes per question. Tape yourself and see how long it takes you to answer a question.
2. Include concrete, quantifiable data
Interviewees tend to talk in generalities. Unfortunately generalities often fail to convince interviewers that the applicant has assets. Include measurable information and provide details about specific accomplishments when discussing strengths.
3. Repeat your key strengths
It’s essential that you comfortably and confidently articulate your strengths. Explain how the strengths relate to the company’s or department’s goals and how they might benefit from your strengths. This will make them memorable – if supported with quantifiable accomplishments – they will more likely be believed.
4. Prepare five or more success stories
In preparing for interviews, make a list of your skills and key assets. Then reflect on past jobs and pick out one or two instances when you used your skills successfully.
5. Put yourself on their team
Ally yourself with the prospective employer by using the employer’s name and products or services. For example: “As a member of ___ I would carefully analyse the ______ and ______.” Show that you are thinking like a member of a team and will fit in with the existing environment. Be careful though not to say anything that would offend or be taken negatively. Your research will help you in this area.
6. Image is often as important as content
What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say. Studies have shown that 65% of the conveyed message is non-verbal: gesture, physical appearance and attire are highly influential during job interviews.
7. Ask Questions
The types of questions you ask and the way you ask them can make a tremendous impression on the interviewer. Good questions require advance preparation. Just as you plan how you would answer an interviewer’s questions, write out specific questions you want to ask. Then look for opportunities to ask them during the interview. Don’t ask about benefits or salary. The interview process is a two way street whereby you and the interviewer assess each other to determine if there is an appropriate match.
8. Maintain a conversational flow
By consciously maintaining a conversational flow – a dialogue instead of monologue – you will be perceived more positively. Use feedback questions at the end of your answers and use body language and voice intonation to create a conversational interchange between you and the interviewer.
9. Research the company, product lines and competitors
Research will provide information to help you decide whether you’re interested in the company and important data to refer to during the interview.
10. Keep an interview journal
As soon as possible, write a brief summary of what happened. Note any follow-up action you should take and put it in your diary. Review your presentation. Keep a journal of your attitude and the way you answered the questions. Did you ask questions to get the information you needed? Prepare and send a brief, concise thank you letter. Restate your skills and what you can do for the company.

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