52 PROFESSIONAL WOMANS MULTICULTURAL MAGAZINE WWW.PROFESSIONALWOMANMAG.COM
nterviews are one of the basic steps to securing the job you want. They are your chance to sell your skills and abilities, which allows you to find out if the job and company are right for you. To ace your inter- views, follow these simple and highly effective tips:
Review common interview questions.
Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror. Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants while emphasizing your: ! Strengths ! Willingness to work and flexibility ! Leadership skills ! Ability and willingness to learn new things ! Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered ! Creativity in solving problems and working with people Figure out in advance how well you qualify for the job. For each requirement listed in the job posting, write down your qualifications. This process can sig- nal if you lack a particular skill. Plan how you will address this in the interview to communicate that you can learn the skill.
Make a list of questions you would like to ask during the interview.
Pick questions that will demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. You can comment on information sourced from the company website and then ask a related question. Also, ask questions about the job you will be expected to perform, like: ! What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job? ! How will my responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom? ! Could you explain your organizational structure? ! What computer equipment and software do you use? ! What is the organization's plan for the next five years?
Remember to bring important items to the interview: ! Notebook and pens ! Extra copies of your resume and a list of references ! Copies of recommendation letter(s), licenses, transcripts, etc. ! Portfolio of work samples
On the day of the interview, remember to:
! Plan your schedule, so you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. ! Go by yourself.
TIPS for Acing Your Next Interview
! Look professional. Dress in a manner appropriate for the job. ! Leave your MP3 player, coffee, soda or backpack at home or in your car. ! Turn off your cell phone. ! Bring your sense of humor and SMILE!
Display confidence during the interview:
but let the interviewer start the dialogue. Send a positive message with your body language. ! Shake hands firmly, only if a hand is offered to you first. ! Maintain eye contact. ! Listen carefully. Welcome all questions, even the difficult ones, with a smile. ! Give honest, direct answers. ! Develop answers in your head before you respond. If you dont understand a question, ask for it to be repeated or clarified. You don't have to rush, but you dont want to appear indecisive.
End the interview with a good impression.
A positive end to the interview is another way to ensure your success. ! Be courteous and allow the interview to end on time. ! Restate any strengths and experiences that you might not have emphasized earlier. ! Mention a particular accomplishment or activity that fits the job. ! If you want the job, say so! ! Find out if there will be additional interviews. ! Ask when the employer plans to make a decision.
Dont forget to send a thank-you note or letter after the interview.
A thank-you note is another opportunity to sell your qualifications and leave a positive impression on the employer. A handwritten or typed thank-you note sent by mail is an excellent choice. However, you can also deliver your thanks in person or by phone. If time is short, an e-mailed thank-you note works too. The best approach will depend on the circumstances. Your message should include: ! Statement of appreciation for the opportunity ! Expression of continued interest in the job ! A brief restatement of qualifications and skills ! Additional background you may have failed to mention ! Follow up on any websites, books, articles or contacts mentioned ! Date and time you will follow up as previously agreed
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