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Do’s and don’ts Job interview – How to score points

Posted by | 10/25/2013 | Job interview

How to Score points in a Job Interview – Do’s and Don’ts

These basic tips will help you score @ the job interview:

1). Pay attention

Be sure to address the question in your answer. Seriously, many applicants just plain don’t listen to the question, or they’re busy trying to weave in details that aren’t related to what they were asked. There’s a reason behind each question, and part of the score includes points for actually responding to what you were asked. Listen carefully to the question, ask the interviewer to repeat it if you’re uncertain, and then give an answer that reflects the question.

2). Give examples and be specific

Always give specific examples about what you’ve done. This tip alone can mean the difference between a mediocre interview score and landing a spot on the ‘top three candidate’ list. Managers (good ones, with solid training, that is) are actually schooled to ask questions that elicit examples of how candidates have performed jobs.

Sometimes managers will try to cue you that they need a real example, not a hypothetical idea of what you would do in a certain circumstance. If you hear questions such as “Tell about a time that you . . . ” or “Give an example of a workplace situation where you did so & so,” it’s your signal to tell about a real situation in your career that answers the question. If the hiring manager repeats the same question, that means you didn’t answer some element of the question, or you failed to give a real example.

3). Be prepared for traps and trick questions

“What’s your worst fault?” or similar questions are huge traps for the unsuspecting. The nature of the question can be varied, so plan ahead to have a few answers in mind. You might be asked questions such as, “What did you least like about your previous job?” or “Tell about a time you didn’t succeed at something.” Answer the question (don’t try to divert), but try to turn the answer into a success story. If you learned something the hard way, use that challenge to your advantage and you may earn points for candor and for showing how you’ve grown.

4). Smile

Do it again – it looks good on you! Look in their eyes and, whenever possible, smile with confidence. Candidates don’t realize that in the aftermath of an interview, the team will comment to each other about things not discussed through the questions. You want them to say, “I really liked her smile – she was friendly and confident”.

5). Be brief

But be on point. Don’t give long answers when concise answers will do. Overly long answers work to your disadvantage and cause interviewers to tune out, which means they will not remember well enough to score you accurately. Remember, managers hate to interview. Don’t be one of the reasons they feel that way!

6). Ask smart questions

At the end of the interview, you’ll probably be asked if you have questions (if not, simply mention you have a few questions). Show them you’re interested in their firm and you want to know more about it. Mention what you learned about the firm before you interviewed. Ask about the culture of the company. Do not mention salary!

7). Be assertive – ask for the job

When I tell my students that at the end of the interview they should ask for the job, I often receive incredulous looks. “Really?!” is the common question. “Yes. Ask for the job. You do want the job, right?”

These recommendations are not exhaustive and don’t cover all that you should do to be successful in an interview. But, if followed, they can help you be more effective and make it easier for the recruiter to offer you the job.

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