Nailing It: Job Interview Tips
By Rachel Telinda
So how did your last job interview go? If you weren’t nervous or worried about what the interviewer was going to ask, that’s fantastic. But if you’re like most people, you might need some job interview tips.
Staffanation works with hundreds of job applicants every year and we often coach people through interviewing. As a placement specialist, I like to share these dos and don’ts to help candidates prepare for–and nail–their next interview:
- Learn as much as possible about the job description and company before the interview. This research helps you think about how you would be a good match for the position.
- Give brief examples of your ability to work well with others. Don’t have job experience to talk about in the interview? You can use examples from your classes, sports teams or groups you belong to.
- Be prepared to explain, in a concise way, how you have handled previous challenges or paid attention to details. Again, these examples don’t have to be related to a previous job. Maybe you’ve tackled a home improvement project or been in charge of planning all the logistics for a family reunion. Discuss how you are someone who takes responsibility and gets things done at work or in your personal life.
- Be on time and dress appropriately. For most of our job openings, that means no jeans or casual clothes like tank tops, shorts or mini skirts. Choose clean clothes in good repair. (If you need help with appropriate clothing for an interview, we can direct you to local resources.)
- Bring a copy of your resume with you to the interview. Be sure to review it the night before so you can quickly answer questions about your work background and skills. Remember, your placement specialist at Staffanation is available to edit your resume, too.
- Be polite, make eye contact with and listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions.
- Go by yourself. Make arrangements for childcare and don’t bring friends, a spouse or anyone else to the appointment.
- Have a few questions you’re ready to ask, like, “What would an average day on the job be like?” or “What skill do you think is most important for this job?” Then mention how you would be a good candidate to provide those tasks or skills.
- Try to be someone you’re not, or lie. If you were previously fired or laid off, be honest, but emphasize the experience you earned on that job or any productive lessons you learned.
- Talk about former employers, coworkers or bosses negatively. Bad mouthing anyone in an interview makes you look like a poor candidate for hiring. You want to come across as a team player and a professional.
- Text, take calls or even look at your phone. All of these actions signal that you aren’t interested in the job. (Best bet: Silence or turn off your phone and keep it in your pocket or bag.)
More Job Interview Tips
All of the Staffanation placement specialists are here to help during your job search. Let us know if you’re worried about interviewing. We’re more than happy to help you practice. It’s also a good idea to spend some time thinking about how you’ll answer interview questions ahead of your interview. Then you’ll be ready to land that job!
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