Money - Jobs
By: - at June 20, 2013

How to Ace Your Job Interview

Job InterviewThe interview is one of the most important parts of the job search and your chance to shine.

If you are lucky enough to have gotten an interview, you have gotten past the screening stage and you may have beaten hundreds of other candidates to get to this point.

The Type Of Interview
The first place to start in preparing for your interview is to understand the potential formats that are used to determine your fit within the organization.

1)  Telephone Interview
The first format is the phone interview. This allows the employer to screen the candidate at a low cost and time effective manner. These interviews are generally around 30 minutes in length and often performed by a human resource manager. This technique is often used to narrow the pool of candidates for in-person interviews.

To be most successful in the phone interview, you should be sure to follow these steps. Use a landline, as they are less likely to be dropped. Turn off call-waiting as a call coming in may distract you in the middle of an answer. Make sure the interview takes place in a quiet space with limited distractions. Without visual clues, you will have to be careful to focus on the questions they are asking you. Enunciate and speak clearly.

2)  One To One Interview
One To One InterviewThe second format is the traditional in person one to one interview. This allows employers to get to know you on an individual level and ask pertinent questions to their area of work.

These are most often performed by the decision maker, which is potentially your boss. They are going to be concerned with how well you are going to fit in and you are going to support them in their jobs.

To be most successful in the one to one interview, you need to focus on non-verbal behaviors, like eye contact, tone of voice, and body language. One study shows that 93% of your message is conveyed in this way and not in words. Body language will vary based on the country that you are interviewing in. For example, in some countries, eye contact is direct and others it is not. Also remember to dress the part. You want them to see you as a potential employee.

3)  Panel Or Group Interview
The third format is a panel or group interview. This format allows the employer to save time and also get multiple opinions that can lead to more valid and fair decisions about candidates. Remember that each individual on the panel will have a different perspective.

Try to understand how their position relates to the one you are applying for. This will help you tailor your answers to their particular needs and concerns. To be most successful in panel interviews, body language is still important. A few points to remember include, make your introductions count, make eye contact and use their names.

4)  Video Or Online Interview
Online InterviewThe final type of interview is the online video interview. It is similar to the in person interview but it allows the employer to cut down on travel and cost. You will want to follow the same advice and in addition these steps.

Perform test runs on the equipment well before the interview. Arrive on video early so you can make any adjustments to lighting or appearance prior to the interview or coming online. Use the in picture mode so you know how you appear. Make sure your environment looks clean, professional, and there are no immediate distractions in the area.

The Types Of Interview Questions

How often have you been to an interview and been surprised by the questions you were asked? By understanding the three basic types of questions employers use, you can actually prepare for an interview and take away much of the anticipation. The first and most common are behavioral questions.

Behavioral Questions
The concept is to use your past behavior to predict your future behavior. It will often take the form of, tell me about a time, or give me an example, to allow you to draw upon your past experiences to show your skills and knowledge. For example, tell me about a time when you had to meet a deadline, and you did not meet expectations. Or, give me an example of a time when you innovated on a project.

Situational Questions
The second type of question is case or situational. The purpose is to evaluate your problem solving and analytical abilities. It will often take the form of, how would you or what would you do? Your answer shows how you would approach a problem, or a work situation, and allows them to see how you think on your feet. For example, how would you change our website? Or, what would you do if you had an angry client?

Resume Questions
Job Interview ResumeThe third type is resume-based questions. The purpose is to gain more information on experiences you have highlighted and confirm the depth of your skills and knowledge.

They will ask you direct questions from your resume. So you will need to be able to expand on it in detail. For example, you mentioned in your resume that you have HTML experience.

Can you tell me where you have used this?

You Must Practice
Practicing for the interview helps you feel confident and focused on the interviewer, not stressed out about what you are going to say. There are several options for you; from do-it-yourself, to fee-based services.

Practice On Your Own
If you choose to do this on your own, you will want to mirror an actual interview as closely as possible. Set up a space that is conducive to interviews, dress the part, and have a friend or family member play the part of the interviewer. You can also create flashcards that will allow you to shuffle them and be comfortable answering in any order. Be sure to record yourself so that you assess your body language and confidence.

Practice By Hiring Help
You may also want to consider the many online fee-based interview practice programs.

They provide a pressure free environment that will give you randomized questions with little work on your part.

The disadvantage of many fee-based services is that they do not provide you with specific questions based on the job you are after. Regardless of the method you choose, the more you practice, the better prepared you will be for the interview.

How Did It Go?
Once you have completed the interview, you are in the stage to follow-up. A crucial step is to assess your performance; how well did you do? You want to think about what went well and what did not.

An excellent way to assess your performance is through performance-based techniques.

To analyze your performance, you will first want to outline the factors that will make a successful candidate in their organization. Start with what the interviewer focused on and list these first. Then go back to the job description and identify areas that came up in the interview and that you feel are important.

Next, for each of these factors, put an example you used in the interview. Take the time to reflect on your answers to determine how strong they matched up with each need. Third, rate how you performed on a scale of 1-5; 1 being unqualified and 5 meaning exceeds qualifications.

Finally....The Outcome
Hand shake job interviewIn the best case, the hiring manager will call you to extend an offer. In this case you want to let them know you are excited to get the offer and ask for details. Then ask them for time to think about the offer.

If the hiring manager has not gotten back to you and it has been more than two weeks, there can be many reasons for this, but it is reasonable to follow-up with a short email, checking in and expressing your interest. You may still be in the running.

The third scenario would be that you do not get the position. At this point you do not know how close you came, so you want to keep the door open. You should send a thank you note to the hiring manager. Try to connect at future conferences or events to stay in touch. You need to continue to network. Remember, just because you did not get this job, does not mean you will not get the next one.

Unfortunately, employers do not always deliver the bad news. Many people who are hiring somebody do not get back to the candidates who did not get the job. Although not a professional practice, it does happen.

If it has been more than a month, send a second note reiterating your interest in the position and your hope to hear from them about future positions. During your job search, it is important to open as many doors as you can, but it is just as important to keep them open.  A kind or thoughtful thank you note will enhance your network of possible employers.





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