This post is a continuation of my So You’ve Been Laid Off series.
So, your killer resume has resulted in the interview. Now it’s make or break time. Nothing else matters. When you walk in the door for an interview you are starting off at zero. The only thing that matters to that employer now is how you come off in the interview.
Remember, you can never make a new first impression. If you mess this up, you’ll be in for an uphill battle for the rest of the interview.
Wow…I could write several posts just on this topic. Instead, I’m going to give you some links to sites with good tips for answering interview questions. The most important thing is to prepare your answers in advance and, again, practice, practice, practice.
Take the time to look up the company you are interviewing with on the internet. Find out what they do and how they do it as well as any struggles they appear to be having. Be able to answer not only what you know about the company, but why you want to work for them in particular.
There’s that word again. Practice. The more you practice interviewing, the more confident you will be in the interview. And you know what the best practice for interviewing is? Interviews! Even if you don’t want a particular job, go to the interview anyway. Real world practice is the best way to hone your interview skills. You don’t have to take the job if it’s offered, you just want the interview practice.
Another way to get practice is to get an interviewing buddy. Find a friend who is also job hunting, and practice interviewing together. Switch back and forth between interviewer and interviewee, and critique each others performances. Acting as interviewer will give you insight into what your potential interviewers will see and be looking for.
If you have a video camera, get someone to video you in a practice interview so you can critique yourself. You’ll want to watch your facial expressions especially, as well as any nervous habits you may have so you know how they come across to a potential interviewer.
I found the book Interviews for Dummies to be hugely helpful in learning some crucial interviewing skills. It helps not only in preparing for your interview, but also has some great tips for negotiating salaries. If you can find a copy, I highly recommend reading it.
Remember, the interview is your very last chance to impress a potential employer. Don’t blow it through lack of practice!