The Art of Interviewing: Tips for Job Seekers

When Sally Field won the Academy Award for Best Actress for in a movie called Places in the Heart, she concluded her acceptance speech with these straight-from- the heart words, “You like me! Right now! You really like me!”

A job interview is a lot like that moment. You’re there because a prospective employer really likes you. They’ve selected your resume from a pile of options and are talking to only the best of the best. Like Oscar nominees, the field has been narrowed, but only one candidate gets the job.

How do you make it happen?

First of all, remember what you just read. They like you so far or you wouldn’t be here. So, stay confident despite your jangling nerves and prepare to eliminate all the others from contention.

Prepare in advance.

In addition to researching the company – even if you’ve already done that, dig a little deeper now that you’ve reached the interview stage – learn as much as you can about your interviewers. Reread the job description so you can be ready to match your skills, style and values with those of the company and role. Practice answering common interview questions. A good method to work on is the STAR – Situation, Task, Action and Result – approach.

Dress appropriately.

Take some time to learn the dress code of the company. If you’re not sure, err on the side of conservative. Have your outfit ready to go the night before, as well as copies of your resume, portfolio, a pen and notebook, and any other items you may need.

Be punctual.

Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled start of your interview. Map out your route in advance and allow some wiggle room in case there are unexpected delays. This is another thing you may want to practice ahead of time: take a trial run.

Start off strong.

Make a great first impression by treating everyone you meet with courtesy and respect. This doesn’t just apply to your interviewers, but literally everyone – from parking attendants to front desk and support staff. Treat each person as though they’re a hiring manager. Because even though they’re not, a potential employer may ask for their feedback.

Be mindful of non-verbal communication.

In addition to polishing up your responses and other talking points, stay positive and professional in your tone, posture and mannerisms. Actively listen, make eye contact, sit up straight, and lean in as others are speaking to you.

Finish with a flair.

Last but not least, be sure to thank everyone, with a firm handshake for each interviewer. Ask what the next step in the hiring process will be, and write personalized thank you notes, in which you also reconfirm your interest in the position.

The career coaches at Accurate Staffing Consultants, Inc., can help you find the right job and ace your interview and all the steps involved in successfully landing it. Contact us today to discuss direct hire, full-time, temp and temp-to-hire options in areas including healthcare, light industrial and managed services.

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