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Posts Tagged ‘interview questions’

I kind of consider myself a stellar job-interviewer. I’ve been told by more than one employer that I interview well, and in fact, that’s how I got my last job, even though I wasn’t qualified.

Some tips I’ve learned:

  • Eye Contact: Keeping eye contact with someone lets them know you’re listening. If you’re looking anywhere but their face, they may think you’re daydreaming. Also, if you’re looking at your lap while you’re talking, they’re going to think you’re shy/nervous/guilty/ashamed.
  • No Fidgeting: Keep your hands in your lap. If you’re in a swivel chair, don’t rock back and forth, as much fun as it is. That would also give the interviewer the impression that you have a short attention span.
  • Be Friendly:  Small talk is tedious, but important. It shows you’re easy to get along with, and that you can think on your feet. It breaks the ice and will probably make you more comfortable with the interview.But be creative with it! And don’t act like it’s a hassle for you.
  • But not too friendly: If you have something in common with the interviewer, great! Discuss it very briefly. I read an article last week where a man was interviewing, and discovered that his interviewer worked at the same place he did. The man then proceeded to ask his interviewer if he knew every single person at that job, for about 10 minutes. No one likes that. “Yeah, I get it, we know the same people.” This morning, I had an interview where I mentioned the reason I type so fast is because I’ve been playing the piano for years. The guy interviewing me said that he played the piano till he was 12, and it still frustrates him that he can’t play very well. We talked about that for a second, and then we moved on.
  • Dress Well: Everyone’s heard it: Dress to Impress. This one is a hard one for me because I like to be comfortable, and I only have one pair of slacks. But seriously, your appearance is vital. If you appear sloppy, they may think you don’t care about the job or that you’re lazy. Trust me, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
  • Be Clean: Make sure you smell good. But don’t put on perfume/cologne right before you go, because it might be overpowering. Just make sure you’ve showered recently. Your face needs to be easily visible. Girls (and in some cases, guys), don’t do the whole long-bangs-over-the-eyes thing. Pin the bangs back so the interviewer can look at you. (and don’t over-do the makeup. You want to look like a professional, not a hooker.)
  • Prepare Yourself: It’s not a bad idea to practice your responses to questions. There are interview questions that always get asked. For instance: What are your strengths/weaknesses, where do you see yourself in 5 years, what are your professional goals. One question that always throws me is “Tell me about yourself.”  I never know if they want me to tell them my love of crafts, or if they strictly want to know about me business-wise. I usually mix it up, saying stuff like, “I love working with people, and I have a lot of experience with computers. I make earrings, and I type fast.” But I’m not sure if that’s a good response or a bad response. I’ve been told you want to tell them something they’ll remember you by, so after they interview 10 other people, they’ll look at your resume and go, “Oh yes, the girl who’s fluent in Latin!”
  • Research: This is also one I’m bad at. 9 times out of 10, interviewers will ask, “What do you know about our company?” And I usually say, “Pretty much nothing.” Bad. How impressive would it be tell them you know about their company and what they do. But don’t say too much otherwise they’ll think you’re crazy. (i.e.: “Founded in 1995, 300 employees, etc.”)
  • Ask Questions: Interviewers usually ask, “Any questions?” and if you say no, they might think you weren’t listening, or don’t care. You can say things like, “If you were to hire me, what would my duties be?” You can ask about the pay or the benefits, or even how long they’ve worked there. just ask something to show that you’re interested.
  • Follow-up: After the interview itself, it’s smart to send them a follow-up email, thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in working for them. It’s also wise to insert that one thing that they’ll remember you by. My last job, they remembered me because I was working at a Mexican restaurant they really liked, so when I emailed them to thank them for their time, I said, “If you come into the restaurant in the near future, be sure to ask for me!” And when I was hired, my boss thanked me for the email and told me that was really good business.

Other than that, you just gotta hope they like you.  🙂 That’s all I’ve got.

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