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Interviews for jobs are difficult.  You get anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to show that you are the single best candidate for the position.  In that amount of time, you have to explain your moral character, skill competency, and social ability.

What a weird system.

But it doesn’t change reality.  Here are some tips to rock that interview so you can continue to “mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

Dress Well, Be Punctual

gqOkay, let’s get the stuff that should be obvious out of the way.

Wear a suit or whatever attire is appropriate for the meeting.  Most often it’s a suit.  So probably just wear a suit.

And don’t think your interviewer is going to appreciate your laid back attitude toward life, as evidenced by wearing jeans and an untucked button down.  But even if other applicants are wearing casual wear, you should still wear a suit.  It will set you apart.

Be on time.  Treat the receptionist with respect.  Act as you would if you were a guest in someone’s house.  Be polite and thankful for any accommodations offered you.

Be the One to Set the Tone

When you meet the interviewer, there are a million things that become established in less than a second, and they all give him/her what is called a “first impression”.

Photo credit: cliff1066™ / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: cliff1066™ / Foter / CC BY

So be the one to set the tone of your first impression.

  1. Keep good eye contact.
  2. Smile.
  3. Use a firm handshake.
  4. Bring your shoulders back and pull your chest and chin up.  This is good posture and it communicates confidence.
  5. Do not say “um” or “like”.

Be Personable

We don’t want anyone to be disingenuous.  That being said, there are also techniques that help foster a better environment for a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.

  1. Use the interviewer’s name often.  Psychologically speaking, when people hear their name, they feel important or valued. They will subconsciously have a higher chance of liking you.
  2. Ask questions about the interviewer.  Everyone has a passion, and when you find what theirs is, ask about it.  Even if you have no experience in the subject, and even if you don’t care at all, ask about it.  I promise, they want to talk about their love for golf or the Chicago Bears or their garden.  So let them.  They will like you more.
    Be the one to set the tone of your first impression. #interview #business Click To Tweet
  3. Never criticize anyone.  First of all, you never know if the person you are talking about is somehow personally connected to the interviewer.  Secondly, criticizing others is usually an attempt to make yourself look good, but in reality, it shows that you are a complainer and might not accept responsibility for your actions.

Be Ready to Explain Yourself

You will be asked about gaps of employment and about your work and education history.  Be prepared to explain them.

Stumbling in your words when asked is a sign that you might be lying.  So practice this part beforehand so you can speak clearly with confidence.

Have Questions Prepared

And I don’t just mean question about the position (although, you should be prepared with those, too).

I’m talking about questions about the organization as a whole.  Ask why their mission statement contains a certain phrase.  Ask what the vision for the next 10 years is for the company.  See how the different departments get along with each other.

These kinds of questions are impressive because they show that you don’t only care about yourself, but that you also care for the company you work for.  It shows that you are capable of thinking in terms of vision and mission, and not just in terms of shift start time and end time.

Be Ready to Explain Succinctly Why You Should Get the Job

Photo credit: The Next Web / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: The Next Web / Foter / CC BY-SA

When I got interviewed for a position at a local hospital, I came prepared with a statement of “5 reasons I should get the job before anyone else”.  At the end of the interviewer, when she asked me if there was anything else I wanted to add before we finished, I spent about 60 seconds reciting my statement.

This isn’t arrogance as far as I see it.  It’s confidence.

I explained why my phsyical strength and my experience in customer service were assets.  I saw my experience in leadership in the church as vital to helping any department in the hospital.  She learned that my faith is why I will always have honesty and integrity in my work.  And I explained why my year of unemployment prior to this interview helped me see the value of a job and that I would work so very hard in order to keep it.

At the end, she said she was very impressed.

I got the job, by the way.

After the Interview

Send a thank you card to your interviewer.  Hand-written is best.  Let them know that you appreciated their time and that you look forward to hearing from them.

When you land the #job you've been looking for, thank #God for it. Click To Tweet

Follow up in a week or so if they have not gotten back to you (unless they told you in the interview that it would be at least x-amount of time before they decide on a candidate).  Call them and politely ask if a decision has been reached yet.

Conclusion

Even if you follow these steps, you are never guaranteed a job, but these tips will certainly help.

When you land the job you’ve been looking for, thank God for it.

And work your butt off to serve the company as you serve God.

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