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Looking for a job: The Interview

By   /   November 16, 2011  /   Comments



One of the hardest parts of looking for a job is the waiting for a call to come back and interview. Many people will tell you to call the prospective employers and ask for some sort of determination of your employability or just to tell the employer that you are still interested in the position. This may be a good idea if you are applying for something where just a few people are applying. But during this economic downturn, sometimes as many as a hundred people are applying for every job opening. Repeated calls from an applicant can annoy the employer, so think long and hard before making those calls.

Finally, the call has come to return to interview for a position. You have the date and time. Make sure you leave in plenty of time in order to arrive 15 minutes early. If you have an 8 a.m. appointment, arriving late may prevent you from getting serious consideration. If you plan to arrive 15 minutes early, then you can assure yourself of not being late. Arriving late for an appointment may make the employer wonder if you would come to work on time and, depending on your lateness, you just may have lost the opportunity to interview. Allowing extra time will be beneficial if there is a traffic problem or an accident that might delay you.

It’s now your turn to interview. You may want to shake hands with the person who is interviewing you. When seated, make sure you are not slouching, but rather sitting up straight. One of the most important things you can do is to make eye contact throughout the interview. It can be annoying to the interviewer if you are looking at your shoes or looking out a window. Also, if you have a cell phone, be sure to turn it off or put it on vibrate during the interview. The person interviewing you may have dozens of interviews planned and having your phone ring during the interview is going to be annoying.

You will then be asked a number of questions. Each prospective employer will have their own method of asking those questions. You can prepare for this by thinking of things you would ask if you were the employer. You may be asked something like “tell me a little about yourself”. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you would start with your birth. The employer wants to hear primarily about your previous employment and job tasks you have done in the past. You can also talk about hobbies and things you really like to do. You can also tell the interviewer about your education. Sometimes you will be asked specific questions about your education or hobbies. You may be asked something like “where do you see yourself in 20 years?” This is what is meant about being prepared for the interview.

Lastly, speak clearly and try not to use a lot of slang in your responses. Most importantly of all, make eye contact during all of your responses. With a little luck, after all of this, you just might get a call offering you a new job!

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