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Interview Guide

Impress recruiters... for higher paying jobs!

You must prepare for an interview!

The job interview is where you can assess a company and it is where you have to sell yourself and your skills. This requires the use of an effective job interview technique.

Our interview guide, The Master Interviewer, takes you from job interview preparation to the follow-up. The guide has been written by human resource professionals. Below are some quick job interview tips that show you how to interview in an astute and effective manner.

Your goal in an Interview

The interview is your chance to communicate your ability and skills directly to the potential employer. An interview is an opportunity for both parties to get to know each other and to determine if there is potential for a match. Because interviewing is a skill, anyone can learn to interview effectively. Most people find interviewing to be a terrifying prospect. Remember that the key to a successful interview is preparation and careful listening.

Before the Interview

The Master Interviewer gives details about polish and preparation. These are the basics.

Make sure your hair is neat - get a haircut if possible. Dress in conservative business attire, composed of a dark suit, polished shoes, white shirt or blouse, and, for men, a conservative tie. All clothes should be neat clean and pressed. Avoid excessive jewelry, makeup, cologne or perfume.

Learn pertinent facts about the company such as annual sales revenue, principal lines of business and locations. Know yourself and know your resume and be able to easily provide examples of your selling points, skills, values, and strengths.

During the Interview

During the interview, sit up straight in the chair or lean forward slightly and DO NOT slouch! Establish yourself as a self confident and assertive person without being confrontational, cocky or aggressive. Remember to be yourself but to also present a professional, polished version of yourself.

Answer job interview questions directly. Be confident without being arrogant. At the same time, admit to your weaknesses if they are brought up, but do not bring them up. Instead, concentrate on your strengths. Demonstrate energy, determination, enthusiasm, motivation and passion for your work.

Prove that you are genuinely interested in the company by showing that you have researched the organization. You should always ask the interviewer a few good questions.

Answering Interview Questions

Answer tough interview questions honestly and completely - but be wary. Do not dwell on negatives and you should avoid mentioning them. Sell yourself on your true capabilities and qualifications without exaggerating your abilities. If you are asked a technical question and you do not know the answer, do not bluff. If your bluff fails, your candidacy will be seriously threatened. Instead, say "I do not know the answer, but if I were to venture an educated guess I would say...". Never speak negatively about another person or company.

The Master Interviewer contains a complete list of questions to prepare for including some of the most difficult questions you can be asked and the appropriate responses.

Asking questions

The questions that you ask are just as critical as the responses that you give. Asking thoughtful questions demonstrates your intelligence, common sense and your interest in the position to the employer. By posing good questions to an interviewer, you will gain additional useful information about the opportunity.

Concentrate on the broad view of the company and on specific details about the position at hand. Focus on four areas during your job interview: the company, the job opportunity, the interviewer and the closing. The Master Interviewer gives specific and insightful questions you can ask in each of these four areas.

After the Interview

Keep them interested. After the interview, you should send a short thank you letter to refresh the employer's memory of your candidacy and to reaffirm your interest in the position.

Allow the employer five to ten days to contact you after receiving your letter. If you still have not heard from an employer, you should follow up with a phone call.

The Employer's Point of View

Practice interviewing. Have a friend ask you questions that you may encounter during an interview. If you have a VCR, videotape your mock interview and try and identify any of your negative factors, traits, habits, and actions. The Master Interviewer, contains a full list of these negative factors evaluated by an interviewer that you should look to avoid.

Important Do's and Don'ts

The Master Interviewer contains a more complete list, but these are some of the most important ones.

DO

  • Arrive 10 minutes early.
  • Greet the interviewer with a warm, confident "Hello" and a firm handshake.
  • Be well rested.
  • Dress and groom yourself with perfection (Appropriate business attire, make-up, deodorant).
  • Maintain good posture.
  • Emphasize positive things about yourself.

DO NOT

  • Bring a friend or relative with you.
  • Arrive late.
  • Ask about the salary unless the interviewer brings it up.
  • Speak negatively about a former employer or past co-workers.
  • Smoke, even if the interviewer does and offers you a cigarette. Do not chew gum.
  • Answer with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself that relate to the situation.

Conclusion

The Master Interviewer will ask you, How much stress can you manage? And then will put it all in perspective. The high point of any job search campaign is landing the job interview. However, the job interview can also be a very stressful situation. Will you say the right thing? Will you look appropriate? Will the interviewer like you and be impressed with your qualifications? Will you trip over your own two feet walking in the door?

Effective interviewing is a skill, not an art. YOU can gain that skill. It takes research, alertness and practice to be effective in an interview. The job interview is too important to do a mediocre job. Be prepared!

If you would like a complete guide to interviewing, The Master Interviewer is available for only $9.95 and is 15 pages in length. This guide will provide all of the tools to prepare you including a complete list of common interview questions, difficult questions and proper responses, and an all important look at the employer's point of view. The final section also give a look at the big picture and has some hints to handle the stress. The rest is up to you!

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