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Job interviews can be stressful. It doesn't matter how experienced you may be there is always an element of doubt about your chances of getting the job.
Am I the best candidate? Is there someone more qualified? Have I put my best foot forward?
Here are a few facts about the hiring process...
1. It is not always the person best qualified on paper who gets the job.
2. The people doing the hiring are not always good at hiring. It is usually not their profession.
3. The people doing the hiring will be influenced by the fact that they will be working with whoever gets the job, on a daily basis. They won't want to work with someone they don't like.
4. The right impression created in an interview can open doors, even if this job is not "the one"!
Therefore you have a few goals with your job interview...
1. Prove that you have the technical abilities to do the job. This is pretty much a given, if you don't have the skills to do the job then likely you won't get it, BUT you probably would not be having an interview if they did not think you could do the job. Therefore this is really confirmation of what they think. Take it seriously. Do some preparation so that you can answer the technical part of your interview. Don't mess up!
2. Demonstrate that you really want the job. Do NOT go into an interview with the attitude that they need to convince YOU to take the job. No matter how good you are. No matter how much you think they want you. Be humble... work for the job and show you are keen. Remember that until you formally accept the job you can always decide... but your JOB at interview time is to get the offer!
3. Try to CONNECT with the people interviewing. Show an interest. Remember you might be working with them, so make an effort to establish rapport. Smile. Be interested... ask questions (be prepared with good ones). Be open and honest. Treat them like friends.
4. Create a good first impression. Be there in plenty of time. Dress appropriately... which probably means a little smarter than you might wear on a daily basis. Be smart, clean and looking like a keen applicant. Be in a good mood! Be prepared having done your homework on the company and the people you are meeting if possible.
5. Arrive in the right frame of mind. If you are prepared then you will feel more confident. If you are dressed smartly then you feel good about yourself. If you are in plenty of time then you will alleviate any undue stress. You should make sure you are smiling and in a positive frame of mind.
If you do everything right chances are you will get the job. Worst case you will have made a positive impression that might open doors anyway!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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